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Bill Gates and Angelina Jolie top a global survey of the most admired people

Bill Gates and Angelina Jolie
Getty Images: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Entertainment (L) | Christopher Polk/Getty Images Entertainment (R)
Bill Gates and Angelina Jolie

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has been named the world's most admired man and Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie the most admired woman in a YouGov survey.

Philanthropist Gates and humanitarian Jolie have topped the poll in each of the annual surveys, since the study introduced separate rankings for the sexes in 2015.

For its latest survey, the market researcher interviewed over 37,000 people from 35 countries, with the final figures calculated by the percentage share of admiration each person received overall.

Digging deep into the global rankings for both sexes, both top 20 lists highlight certain themes.

When it comes to the most admired women, entertainers are extremely popular with close to 75 percent of the top 20 having a career in acting, television or music — Jolie, Madonna, Emma Watson and Taylor Swift all feature in the top 10. However, humanitarian work also features prominently, with Jolie, Watson and Malala Yousafzai all in the top 10.

Both Queen Elizabeth II and Angelina Jolie featured in YouGov's top 10 most admired women list for 2018
Anthony Devlin - WPA Pool | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Both Queen Elizabeth II and Angelina Jolie featured in YouGov's top 10 most admired women list for 2018

Businessmen, sports personalities and politicians feature among the 20 most admired men, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Vladimir Putin and Jack Ma.

YouGov even analyzed the level of admiration between U.S. leaders Donald Trump and Barack Obama. In the global study, Trump came in 17th place compared to Obama's second place. In the U.S.' individual rankings, however, Obama came first, while Trump jumped to second place. Bill Gates came fifth on the domestic list.

According to YouGov, in the list of global-only figures, Obama came in top in 19 of the nations surveyed, in comparison to tech pioneer Gates, who got six. However, Gates topped global rankings, as Obama ranked lower in nations including China and Russia, the researcher states. In the female rankings, former First Lady Michelle Obama came second globally, but was first domestically.

President Barak Obama (R) and President-elect Donald Trump smile at the White House before the inauguration on January 20, 2017
Kevin Dietsch-Pool | Getty Images News | Getty Images
President Barak Obama (R) and President-elect Donald Trump smile at the White House before the inauguration on January 20, 2017

Among the biggest global jumpers this year were actress Emma Watson, who leapfrogged from 13th in 2016 to sixth in 2018, and singer Taylor Swift and businessman Jack Ma, who both jumped five places.

The study itself was conducted through online interviews. Survey participants were asked whether they admired the public personality, and then whether a certain figure was the person they appreciated the most.

The world's most admired men (2018): Top 10

  1. Bill Gates
  2. Barack Obama
  3. Jackie Chan
  4. Xi Jinping
  5. Jack Ma
  6. Vladimir Putin
  7. Dalai Lama
  8. Narendra Modi
  9. Amitabh Bachchan
  10. Cristiano Ronaldo

The world's most admired women (2018): Top 10

  1. Angelina Jolie
  2. Michelle Obama
  3. Oprah Winfrey
  4. Queen Elizabeth II
  5. Hillary Clinton
  6. Emma Watson
  7. Malala Yousafzai
  8. Angela Merkel
  9. Taylor Swift
  10. Madonna

To read YouGov's full study, including data on individual countries, click here.