Global Leaders

Gallup International’s 41st Annual Global End of Year Survey

October – December 2017

Two Global Leaders with Very Different Global Perceptions

New research from Gallup International Association (GIA) shows a significant increase in favourability towards President Putin and a US President who compares significantly less favourably with his predecessor.  But both politicians trail the Pope.

Two years ago, just before he left office almost three in five (59%) of those polled throughout 65 countries around the world held a favourable view of US President Barack Obama. This year and having been in office for just over a year, President Trump does not poll so favourably – 31% holding a favourable view of him, 58% an unfavourable view.  (He is the only political leader where a majority hold an unfavourable view of him).  Meanwhile President Putin has gone from one in three (33%) viewing him favourably to 43%, a significant increase over two years. President Putin polls favourably in most regions of the world except the US (14%) and EU-Europe (28%), but still higher than the 20% favourability for President Trump).

However it is Pope Francis who records the highest level of favourability – 56%, rising to 75% of those surveyed in Latin America and 66% of those living in EU-Europe.

Despite a domestic political set-back German Chancellor Angela Merkel ranks as the most popular leader polled; 49% hold a favourable view of her, up from 42% two years ago. She just beats the new comer President Macron, who 45% hold a favourable view towards (compared with 42% who scored his predecessor President Hollande favourably).

Key Findings

Kancho Stoychev, President of Gallup International Association (GIA) said:

“President Trump is clearly dividing people in the way his predecessor did not. This means that the world is looking to other world leaders to fill this key role. Russian President Putin has seen his favourability increase significantly but he still needs to convince others as he remains divisive. Nevertheless for the first time in a global poll a Russian leader is ranked before the US one.

Despite her domestic political battles, a new world order leaves Germany’s Angela Merkel as the most favourable world leader with newcomers Emmanuel Macron not far behind, which given he only formed his political party a little over 18 months ago is a remarkable achievement.“


The Gallup International End of Year Survey (EoY) 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 partnership with WIN in 55 countries around the world.

Sample Size and Mode of Field Work

A total of 53769 persons were interviewed globally. In each country a representative sample of around 1000 men and women was interviewed either face to face (23 countries; n=24235), via telephone (13 countries; n=11656) or online (19 countries; n=17878). The field work was conducted during October 2017 – December 2017. The margin of error for the survey is between +3-5% at 95% confidence level.