2015 World’s Most Admired Personalities Revealed



Humanitarians are more globally admired than top world leaders like Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II, according to a new global YouGov poll of 25,000 people in 23 countries.

One made his name as co-founder of the largest software corporation in the world. The other made hers as a Hollywood superstar. Together, this global study by YouGov can reveal that Bill Gates and Angelina Jolie are the most admired man and woman in the world.

Since retiring as chairman of Microsoft, Gates has donated billions of dollars of his wealth to causes like expanding educational opportunity and eliminating extreme poverty around the world. Jolie, who previously built a career as one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood, has also made a name promoting humanitarian causes, including serving as a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Lower on the list is a mix of world leaders, sports stars and other celebrities.

Based on data corroborated from 25,000 people globally, US President Barack Obama comes in second, but Chinese President Xi Jinping is close behind. Xi has a massive domestic fan base as leader of the world’s most populous country. He ranks highly only in China – while Obama places in nearly every country’s top 10 – but it is nevertheless a sign of the rising prominence of the fast-growing country in the global picture.

Among the women, Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai comes second. Last year, the 17-year old became the youngest person in history to win a Nobel Prize. Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton comes in third. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, comes fourth.

Of course, admiration isn’t only afforded to world leaders and humanitarians. Popular Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan scored highly across Asia, enough to make him the fourth-most admired man in the world – even ahead of Narendra Modi, the recently elected Prime Minister of India.

Physicist Stephen Hawking, the subject of a recent Oscar-nominated biopic, comes in seventh. Footballer David Beckham comes in ninth, tied with billionaire investor Warren Buffet and narrowly ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pope Francis.

Celebrity is also a powerful source of admiration in the women’s top 20. Singer Celine Dion and actress Julia Roberts are higher on the list than Myanmar politician Aung San Suu Kyi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The top 20 also includes Julia Roberts (9), Taylor Swift (12) and Beyoncé Knowles (17).


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