Michelle Obama world's most admired woman, Jacinda Ardern snubbed - poll

Former United States First Lady Michelle Obama is the world's most admired woman, according to a new annual study.

Data company YouGov has released its annual study into "which public figures the people of our planet look up to".

Obama has taken the top position on the list of most admired women, up from second in 2018. Bill Gates is the most admired man, the same position he had last year. 

Last year's most admired woman Angelina Jolie fell two positions to third. Television host Oprah Winfrey comes in second, the Queen is fourth, and actress Emma Watson is fifth.

Former US President Barack Obama is the second most admired man, actor Jackie Chan is third, Chinese President Xi Jinping is fourth and businessman Jack Ma is fifth. All top five positions on the male list were the same as last year.

The results were compiled after YouGov gathered open-ended nominations from panellists across 41 countries in December. The top 20 men and women were then listed based on who received the most nominations and were nominated in at least four countries.

In January, further questions to respondents led to a more specific result allowing the famous individuals to be ranked.

No New Zealanders made the worldwide lists, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was ranked the second most admired woman by Australians. 

Ardern's omission from the worldwide list may be due to the nominations being received in December before she attained international acclaim for her work after the Christchurch mosque attack.

Behind Barack Obama on the 'America's' most admired' list was current US President Donald Trump and actor Clint Eastwood. Trump was ranked 14 on the worldwide list.

The full list, with a breakdown for each country polled (New Zealand was not one of them), can be found here.