April 12, 2018
The number-one most-admired woman in the world does not even make the top ten on America’s list.
Based on findings of YouGov’s annual research on the most-revered public figures on the planet, released on April 11, Bill Gates and Angelina Jolie are the favorites among the 37,000 people in 35 countries who responded to the poll.
In the United States, the two top picks are a husband-and-wife team—former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama—both of whom took second place on the global list.
Tech pioneer and philanthropist Gates has topped the list every time YouGov has conducted the survey, while Jolie has also come first in each of the three surveys since 2015 when separate male and female categories were introduced.
Worldwide, the top ten men (in order of popularity) include: Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Jackie Chan, Xi Jinping, Jack Ma, Vladimir Putin, Dalai Lama, Narendra Modi, Amitabh Bachchan, and Cristiano Rinaldo.
Top women globally are Angelina Jolie, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Queen Elizabeth II, Hilary Clinton, Emma Watson, Malala Yousafzai, Angela Merkel, and Taylor Swift.
Entertainers dominate the female top twenty, with 14 of the most admired women being actresses, singers or TV presenters (although some, like Emma Watson and Angelina Jolie, are also notable for their humanitarian work). By contrast, the list of most admired men contains more people from political, business and sporting backgrounds.
Former U.S. presidential couple Barack and Michelle Obama occupy the two second place spots, representing a three-position rise for Michelle and no change for Barack. The 44th American president is 15 places higher than the man that replaced him – with Donald Trump going up one place since the last study. In fact, the last U.S. president ranks higher than the incumbent in all countries surveyed bar one: Russia.
In the United States, the top-ten list of men includes: Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Billy Graham, Pope Francis, Bill Gates, Dwayne Johnson, Clint Eastwood, Bernie Sanders, Dalai Lama and Elon Musk.
The list of most-admired women comprises Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Queen Elizabeth II, Hillary Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Condoleeza Rice, Malala Yousafzai, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Melania Trump.
Thirteen Americans – six men and seven women – made the global list. While Gates and Obama held on to their spots from last year, Donald Trump and Warren Buffett—two figures lauded for their business acumen—improved their rankings from the last poll. The list also welcomes two male newcomers: Elon Musk and Michael Jordan.
Many of the women, save Hillary Clinton, also see improvements in their ranks. Elizabeth Warren makes her first appearance this year on YouGov’s Most Admired list—at number 13 in the United States and number 20 globally.
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