NZ ranks Pope Francis 5th most admired man

A recent study shows New Zealanders rank Pope Francis fifth, equal alongside the Dalai Lama among the world’s most admired men.

The study, performed by Internet-based market research firm YouGov from the United Kingdom, ranked the world’s 20 “most admired” men and women separately.

The most admired man for New Zealand respondents was David Attenborough, followed by Richie McCaw, Barack Obama and Stephen Hawking.

Prime Minister John Key ranked 13th on the New Zealand list.

The most admired women ranked by New Zealanders were Queen Elizabeth II, Helen Clark, Lydia Ko, Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres.

World-wide Stephen Hawking and Vladimir Putin pushed Pope Francis out of the men’s top ten most admired.

He dropped from sixth to thirteenth.

The Pope ranked first in the Philippines and second in the United States.

According to YouGov, the Pope’s drop may be explained by expectations of reform that distanced Francis from his predecessors, which have dimmed as the Argentine pontiff becomes “institutionalised”.

The Dalai Lama came in ahead of him this year as the world’s most admired spiritual leader.

Pope Francis also rated above Prince William, Dan Carter and Brendon McCullum in New Zealand.

In Brazil, Francis ranked 20th and in Mexico he came in ninth.

The most admired man overall was Microsoft founder Bill Gates, with Barack Obama second.

According to another survey Pope Francis remains the worlds most popular leader.

The survey, taken in March of 1,000 people in 64 countries respectively, puts the popularity of the Pope above US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande.

Francis achieved a net score of +41 – the difference between favourable and unfavourable opinions – 11 points ahead of closest rival President Obama, who achieved +30.

The regions where the Pope is held in highest esteem are  Latin America, North America and Europe.

Portugal has the highest number of individuals with a positive view of the Pope, followed by the Philippines.

Segmented by religious belief, Roman Catholics view the Pope most favourably, followed by Jews and then Protestants.

Only 28 per cent of Muslims and 33 per cent of Buddhists see Francis in a positive light, but most of the Muslims and Buddhists surveyed had not heard of him.

The majority of atheists and agnostics polled view him favourably, according to the results.


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