Global Leaders

  • Iraq, MENA, Pope, Leaders, 2015

Gallup International Association opinion poll in 65 countries across the globe

September – December 2015

Global Data Findings

The question asking to indicate whether respondents have a very favourable, somewhat favourable, somewhat unfavourable or very unfavourable opinion of each of the 10 world leaders was asked in 65 countries as part of the WIN/Gallup International End of Year Survey.

New research from WIN/Gallup International shows that when it comes to global leaders there are two leaders who have significantly higher recognition than others. President Obama is significantly more admired around the world than anyone else, while President Putin divides opinion. While President Obama’s popularity at home has struggled in recent years, on the world stage he remains the most popular leader. President Putin on the other hand is much admired at home and in the largest country in the world but globally his reputation is less favourable.

Almost three in five (59%) of those polled throughout 65 countries around the world hold a favourable view of outgoing US President Barack Obama. Slightly fewer than one in three (29%) view him unfavourably. Despite recently seen taking the fight on with ISIS in Syria, President Putin splits opinion with one in three (33%) viewing him favourably but 43% viewing him unfavourably.  However, when looking at the two most populous countries in the world President Putin remains increasingly popular.

Regional Data Findings

President Obama fares particularly well in South Asia (76%), in the EU countries (67%), Latin America (65%), Sub Saharan Africa (65%) and East Asia (65%). However, throughout the MENA region his favourability plummets to 33%. President Putin on the other hand is most popular in the ex-Soviet States (55%) but significantly more unpopular in EU-Europe (67%) and North America (65%)

2015 Time Magazine Woman of the Year German Chancellor Angela Merkel ranks as the second most popular of ten global leaders polled; 42% hold a favourable view of her, 29% unfavourable. She also appears to unite both Western and Eastern Europe where her popularity is matched in both regions – 48% and 49% favourability respectively. Ironically she is significantly more popular among males (45%) than females (39%). British Prime Minister David Cameron ranks third – 37% holding a favourable view towards him, 28% unfavourable. Cameron polls particularly well in South Asia (53%) and North America (46%).


The End of Year Survey is an annual tradition initiated by and designed under the chairmanship of Dr. George Gallup in 1977. It is conducted every year since then. This year it was carried out by the Gallup International Association in 69 countries around the world.

A total of 63,976 persons were interviewed globally. In each country a representative sample of around 1000 men and women was interviewed either face to face (28 countries; n=30230), via telephone (15 countries; n=11725) or online (22 countries; n=22021). The field work was conducted during September 2015 - December 2015. The margin of error for the survey is between +3-5% at 95% confidence level.