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Paul Barbato (Geography Now)

Paul Barbato is a popular YouTuber.

He has 3.3M subscribers on his YouTube channel, Geography Now.


Paul Barbato was born on 7 June in Minnesota, United States.

He grew up in Chicago in a diverse neighbourhood consisting of Greeks, Pakistanis, Russians, Assyrians; he had Koreans in his school; he got interested in people, their languages, cultures, backgrounds, cuisines, and world social dynamics.

Also, Paul used to frequently travel on international youth retreats and meet people from all over the world.

And at 10, he started learning more about the world and this sparked his interest in geography.

Paul is a second generation Hapa, he is half-Korean and half-white.

His father was born in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, and mother in Daegu, South Korea to American soldiers and Korean women.

Paul’s parents, both Amerasians, grew up in Korea; his mother is a Korean with Irish-French ancestry and his father was an American with half-Italian ancestry.

Paul revealed his DNA test results which showed his ethnicity to be (in the descending order): Japanese and Korean; Chinese and Vietnamese; Central Asian; Italian; Irish, Scottish, and Welsh; English; Scandinavian; Sephardic Jewish- North African; Native American.

He has a sister.

Paul grew up playing Carmen Sandiego, a geography video game.

In 1997, he got his hands on Microsoft Encarta 97 CD; this contained interactive world cultures game, language comparison game; he loved playing these games and this also sparked his interest in geography.

Also, Paul’s sister, a sociology degree major, would come home and talk about obscure groups of people from random parts of the world; this too fuelled his passion for geography.

BornPaul Barbato; 7 June, Minnesota, United States
EducationHigh school
YouTube channelGeography Now
Years active on YouTube2014-present (Geography Now)
Paul Barbato information

Education & career-

He graduated from a high school in Illinois.

Once, in sixth grade, Paul took part in his school’s Geography Bee, but he couldn’t get past the first question which was about the Yellow River of China.

He couldn’t attend college as every time he tried to attend college, life events happened by which he had to cancel his plan of attending the college.

Paul did a lot of small jobs, some of which include working as a caterer, dressing up as a hotdog, before becoming a full-time YouTuber.


Initially, he wanted to become a TV show host and do travel hosting, but he grew tired of selling himself and so, he decided to do his own thing, and this made him start an eponymous YouTube channel on 26 January 2009.

Paul started publishing language videos on this channel, but it didn’t take off.

And after he acquired 6,000 subscribers, he started Geography Now, his second channel, as a hobby, on 31 August 2014.

In 2014, Paul was searching for overall informational profiles of countries, covering demographics, trade, physical landscape on YouTube but was disheartened to see none.

This was the inspiration to start Geography Now; he started filming videos for this channel in his living room.

Before starting this channel, Paul spent three months learning motion graphics, editing, and Adobe After Effects, from his friend, Jason.

At the time, he also learnt how to operate a video camera.

Paul’s channel picked up momentum from his fourth video, “Geography Now! Algeria,” this video was published on 31 October 2014.

He started earning money from YouTube after a year of working on Geography Now; after working on this channel for three years, he started earning a stable income and eventually, became a full-time YouTuber.

As of March 2024, Paul has 3.3M subscribers on his channel, 174K followers on Instagram and 112K followers on Facebook page.

He has a team helping him with his YouTube channel.

Paul earns from a variety of sources like advertisements on YouTube, sponsorships, merchandise; he also accepts donations on Patreon.

A globetrotter-

At 10, he along with his family flew to South Korea; this was his first international travelling experience.

Later, Paul lived in South Korea for a year and a half and travelled to all the provinces.

From 20, he started doing frequent solo international trips; his first solo international trip was to Montreal, Canada; followed by Tanzania; Kenya; Europe; Bahrain; Saudi Arabia; Qatar; United Arab Emirates, Finland, etc.

Paul travelled to more than 60 countries and met diverse people from all over the world.

He prefers travelling to off-the-beaten destinations like South Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Afghanistan rather than mainstream, crowded, touristy ones.

Paul’s favourite travel destinations are Greenland, Tanzania, New Zealand and Singapore.

Personal life-

He didn’t reveal much of his personal life except that he used to be in a relationship with Amanda.

His father was diagnosed with brain cancer and passed away in 2017.

Paul lives in Los Angeles, California.

Some interesting facts about Paul Barbato-

  • Pangolin is his favourite animal.
  • Stranger Things is Paul’s favourite show and he loves matzo balls, and gefilte fish.
  • As his last name is Barbato, he used to go by Barby and later Barbs on his channel.
  • Paul collaborated with popular YouTubers like Nick Uhas, and Peter Popluhàr of PPPeter.
  • He calls his viewers “geograpeeps.”
  • He is a polyglot and knows English, Korean and French.

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