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Leadership Approval and Trust in Institutions

What We Measure

Gallup has measured global approval of the leadership of four key countries (the U.S., Germany, Russia and China) annually since 2006 and has tracked Americans' approval of their sitting president routinely since 1938. Gallup also has long trends monitoring Americans' satisfaction with the direction of the country and the amount of confidence they have in major societal institutions.

Global Leadership Approval

Why it matters

Why Leadership Approval and Trust in Institutions Matter

Global perceptions of the leadership of the world's major powers often reflect the relative soft power of each global actor. In our increasingly interconnected world, it is more helpful than ever for global powers to inspire the support of people beyond their borders as well as within them.

Presidential job approval is the metric by which presidents know if their performance is meeting the American people's expectations or veering off course. It is also a powerful predictor of presidential reelection. Likewise, tracking public satisfaction with the direction of the country monitors the nation's mood and provides a benchmark for measuring progress. Confidence in institutions provides a more detailed look at the ever-changing dynamics within American society, indicating which institutions do and don't have the public's trust.

Global Leadership Measures

Gallup tracks global public opinion about the leadership of the U.S., Germany, Russia and China. Views of the world's leading nations often reflect the relative soft power of each global actor -- this trend is helpful in assessing that soft power.

Gallup has measured the world's perceptions of specific countries' leadership since 2006. In that time, the highest global approval rating for any of the four countries' leadership was 52% for Germany's in 2020. The lowest rating on record was Russia's 21% in 2022, after its invasion of Ukraine. The record-high global approval of U.S. leadership was 49% in 2009 at the beginning of President Barack Obama's first term.

Effective leaders rarely make policy decisions for their nation simply based on public image or in pursuit of soft power. Ultimately, a nation's longer-term interests often determine the parameters within which a leader can act. However, in our increasingly interconnected world, it is more helpful than ever for global powers to inspire the support of people both within their borders and beyond.

Global Approval of U.S. Leadership




U.S. Governance and Institutional Measures

Gallup's tracking of U.S. presidential approval and trust in institutions represents some of our longest-running measures.

U.S. satisfaction is Gallup's version of the "right track/wrong track" questions asked by many polling firms over the years. The indicator reflects Americans' assessments of conditions in the country in the broadest sense, and it can be a useful indicator of a president's reelection prospects.

Gallup first asked its satisfaction question in 1979 and, after updating it periodically for two decades, began tracking it monthly as part of the ongoing Gallup Poll Social Series.

Additionally, Gallup has reported on presidential job approval since 1938, reporting it at least monthly for the vast majority of that history.

U.S. Satisfaction

U.S. Presidential ApprovalView all historical data here

U.S. Congressional Approval

U.S. Political Party Approval


Trust in U.S. Government

Confidence in U.S. InstitutionsGallup tracks confidence in 15 U.S. institutions, some starting in 1973.

Global data are based on the Gallup World Poll conducted in more than 100 countries and areas each year since 2006. The surveys of roughly 1,000 adults per country are nationally representative of those aged 15 and older in each country, conducted either by phone or in person.

U.S. data are based on nationally representative telephone surveys of adults aged 18 and older. Data from individual polls are generally based on surveys of 1,000 national adults, while annual data may represent combined data from quarterly or monthly surveys. Results are weighted to ensure the sample demographics conform with the most recent U.S. Census targets.

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Take a Deeper Look at Global Leadership Approval

Gallup has been measuring global leadership approval since 2006. Our data represent the performance of the world's leaders from the people's perspective. Get country-by-country data and insights on people's views of current and past world leaders.

Rating World Leaders Report Get the latest country-level data on global leadership approval and view past reports.

View Report about Gallup's Latest Global Leadership Report

Global Leadership Approval Center Track trends and get the latest insights on global leadership.

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