- 54% of the world´s population has a favourable opinion of Pope Francis, against 12% who hold an unfavourable opinion and 34% that do not know how to evaluate the Pope.
- The regions where the positive image of the Pope is the highest are Latin America, North America and the European Union.
- Among the 64 countries, the Pope´s image is highest in Portugal, the Philippines, Argentina and Italy.
- Positive opinions of Pope’s Francis increases with age of respondents.
The image of Pope Francis
Citizens in 64 countries were asked: “Irrespective of your own religion, do you have a very favourable, somewhat favourable, somewhat unfavourable or very unfavourable opinion of Pope Francis?”
Five out of 10 respondents (54%) are favourable (very favourable, 24% and somewhat favourable, 30%). On the other hand, one out of 10 citizens (12%) hold an unfavourable opinion (somewhat unfavourable, 7% and very unfavourable, 5%) and 3 out of 10 (34%) are unable to pass a judgment about the Pope.
Jean-Marc Leger, President of WIN said “Pope Francis is a leader who transcends his own religion. Our study shows that an ample majority of citizens of the world, of different religious affiliations and across regions, have a favourable image of the Pope”.
There are important differences in attitudes across the regions. The positive image of the Pope is higher in Latin America (77%), followed by North America (63%) and the European Union (62%). In MENA and West Asia regiona, positive opinions are less prevalent and there is a high no response rate and don’t knows to the question.
When it comes to religious affiliations, Roman Catholics are the people who have the highest positive opinion of Pope Francis (85%), followed by Jews (65%). On the other hand, only 28% of Muslims and 33% of Buddhists see the Pope favourably, but most people of these religions (55 and 57% respectively) do not know him.
Likewise, the poll shows that of the 64 countries, popular opinion is favourable to the Pope in 60 of them. In top of the list appear Portugal (94% positive image), the Philippines (93%), Argentina (89%), Italy (86%), Colombia (84%), Lebanon (80%), Spain (80%), Peru (79%), Poland (78%) and Ecuador (78%).
On the contrary, there are only 3 countries where negative opinions outnumber positive ones: Tunisia (15% favourable, 25% unfavourable), Turkey (13% vs. 26%) and Algeria (9% vs. 28%), while in Azerbaijan the opinions are split (6% vs. 8%) and 87% of respondents do not know the Pope.
The poll also shows that of the 64 countries, 15 of them have a remarkable lack of knowledge of the Pope, above 50%. Azerbaijan tops the list, followed by Iran, Mongolia, Ethiopia, Japan and Morocco.
There are also important differences in attitudes toward the Pope across age groups and education levels – although not related to gender. His good image increases among older people (62% positive for those over 55, against 48% among people below 35). Additionally, people who completed a higher education are more favourable to the Pope that those with basic education or no education at all (63% vs. 42%). Among the uneducated, 46% do not know the Pope.
Regarding net support for the Pope, that is the difference between favourable and unfavourable opinions, the study shows the following differences across the regions of the globe.
- In all countries polled in the Americas, Pope Francis has a mostly favourable image. In Latin America, net support is as high as +85 in Argentina, followed by Colombia (+76), Peru (+71) and Ecuador (+69). The lowest difference is found in Mexico (+47). In North America, net support is higher in Canada (+59) than in the United States (+39).
- Within the European Union, net support is the highest in Portugal (+91) and also very strong in Italy (+77), Spain (+71), Poland (+73), Austria (+67) and Slovenia (+66). The survey shows that it is weaker in Sweden (+23), United Kingdom (+21) and Greece (+13).
- In Eastern Europe, net support for the Pope is high in Georgia (+70), Armenia (+68), Bosnia and Herzegovina (+66) and Ukraine (+51). On the other hand, Serbia (+3) and Azerbaijan (-2) are the countries where the Pope has the less favourable image.
- Among the nations of the Middle East and Northern Africa, net support for the Pope is highest in Lebanon (+77), but negative opinions outweight positive ones in Tunisia (-10) and Algeria (-19). Likewise, in these two countries, as well as in Morocco, a majority of people show lack of knowledge about the Pope.
- In Africa, Nigeria (+35), Dr. Congo (+31) and Ghana (+26) are the countries where net support is stronger, while in South Africa (+19) and Ethiopia (+16) is weaker.
Asia & Oceania
- Within this region, Pope Francis receives a higher net support in the Philippines (+88), which is followed by India (+51). On the contrary, the Pope receives lower support in Bangladesh (+7), Mongolia (+5) and Iran (+2), while unfavourable opinions outweigh favourable ones in Turkey (-13)
Comparison with political world leaders
When comparing Pope Francis with political leaders, we find that the Pope heads the global ranking (with a net score of +41) followed by US President Barack Obama (+30), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (+13), British Prime Minister David Cameron (+10) and French President Francois Hollande (+6). Far away, with more negative opinions than positive ones, comes Russian President Vladimir Putin (-10%).
Countries included within each region:
East Asia & Oceania: Australia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Rep (South), Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam
Eastern Europe: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia ,Kosovo, Macedonia, Russian Federation, Serbia and Ukraine.
EU Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic , Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands ,Poland ,Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom
Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama and Peru.
MENA: Algeria, Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian territories (West Bank and Gaza), Tunisia and Turkey
North America: Canada and United States.
Sub-Saharan Africa: DR.Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa.
West & South Asia: Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The End of Year Survey 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 WIN/Gallup International Association in 70 countries around the world.
The question “Irrespective of your own religion, do you have a very favourable, somewhat favourable, somewhat unfavourable or very unfavourable opinion of Pope Francis” was asked in 64 countries as part of the WIN/Gallup International End of Year Survey. A total of 63.272 persons were interviewed globally.
In each country a representative sample of around 1000 men and women was interviewed either face to face (26 countries; n= 25943), via telephone (15 countries; n=12918) or online (23 countries; n=24411). The field work was conducted during September 2015 – December 2015. The margin of error for the survey is between +/- 3-5% at 95% confidence level. Each country has been given equal weight, rather than weighting the data relative to the size of each country.
About the WIN/Gallup International:
WIN/Gallup Internationalis the leading association in market research and polling and is made up of the75largest independent market research and polling firms in their respective countries with combined revenue of over€500million and covering95%of the world’s market.
For more than 60 years WIN/Gallup International Members have demonstrated their expert ability to conduct multi-country surveys on a comparable basis and deliver the highest quality. Their Members are leading national institutes with a profound local knowledge of research methods and techniques, statistical sources, customs and culture differences of its own country and carefully selected by the Association Board. With only one Member agency per country, Members work together on a daily basis to share knowledge, new research techniques and tools, as well as to provide the most appropriate solutions to international research projects and service our clients to the best of our abilities.
The accumulated expertise of the Association is formidable – they have internationally renowned experts in public opinion, Third World issues, advertising, and media research as well as in commercial fields such as IT/telecommunications, healthcare, retail, economics, corporate research and so on. Members are at the leading edge of technical and methodological developments, which have impacted on not only the research industry but also the whole commercial world.
Disclaimer: Gallup International Association or its members are not related to Gallup Inc., headquartered in Washington D.C which is no longer a member of Gallup International Association. Gallup International Association does not accept responsibility for opinion polling other than its own. We require that our surveys be credited fully as Gallup International (not Gallup or Gallup Poll). For further details see website: www.wingia.com