Pope Francis Image

  • Religion, Pope, Image, 2015

Gallup International Association opinion poll in 64 countries across the globe

September – December 2015

Key Findings

Citizens in 64 countries were asked: “Irrespective of your own religion, do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion of Pope Francis?”

Five out of 10 respondents (54%) are favorable (very favorable, 24% and somewhat favorable, 30%). On the other hand, one out of 10 citizens (12%) hold an unfavorable opinion (somewhat unfavorable, 7% and very unfavorable, 5%) and 3 out of 10 (34%) are unable to pass a judgment about the Pope.

We could say that Pope Francis is a leader who transcends his own religion. The study shows that an ample majority of citizens of the world, of different religious affiliations and across regions, have a favorable image of the Pope.

There are important differences in attitudes across the regions. The positive image of the Pope is higher in Latin America (77%), followed by North America (63%) and the European Union (62%).  In MENA and West Asia region, positive opinions are less prevalent and there is a high no response rate and don’t knows to the question.

When it comes to religious affiliations, Roman Catholics are the people who have the highest positive opinion of Pope Francis (85%), followed by Jews (65%). On the other hand, only 28% of Muslims and 33% of Buddhists see the Pope favorably, but most people of these religions (55 and 57% respectively) do not know him.

Likewise, the poll shows that of the 64 countries, popular opinion is favorable to the Pope in 60 of them. In top of the list appear Portugal (94% positive image), the Philippines (93%), Argentina (89%), Italy (86%), Colombia (84%), Lebanon (80%), Spain (80%), Peru (79%), Poland (78%) and Ecuador (78%).

On the contrary, there are only 3 countries where negative opinions outnumber positive ones: Tunisia (15% favorable, 25% unfavorable), Turkey (13% vs. 26%) and Algeria (9% vs. 28%), while in Azerbaijan the opinions are split (6% vs. 8%) and 87% of respondents do not know the Pope.

The poll also shows that of the 64 countries, 15 of them have a remarkable lack of knowledge of the Pope, above 50%. Azerbaijan tops the list, followed by Iran, Mongolia, Ethiopia, Japan and Morocco.


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 70 countries around the world.

The question “Irrespective of your own religion, do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion of Pope Francis” was asked in 64 countries as part of the WIN/Gallup International End of Year Survey.  A total of 63.272 persons were interviewed globally.

In each country a representative sample of around 1000 men and women was interviewed either face to face (26 countries; n= 25943), via telephone (15 countries; n=12918) or online (23 countries; n=24411). 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.  Each country has been given equal weight, rather than weighting the data relative to the size of each country.