Special Report

The Most Disliked Leaders in the World

Public approval of country leaders declines when everyday issues become a disruptive problem for too many households – namely the increasing cost of living due to inflation. (Here is what Thanksgiving dinner will cost this year thanks to inflation.)

Rising prices for everything from groceries to gasoline has led to protests across Europe and other parts of the world, signaling that the global public is outraged at their democratically elected leaders because they have been unable to control the rise in daily expenses.

Some critics have blamed unjust and unregulated profiteering by multinational corporations – especially energy companies and food producers and sellers – for the alarming increase in the cost of living, which leaders have also been unable to stop.

Whether or not world leaders could have prevented inflation, many today face high disapproval ratings. In fact, 18 of the world’s democratically elected leaders, who preside over 1.12 billion people, have disapproval ratings of between 48% and 75%. Sixteen of these leaders also have negative net approval – the percentage-point spread between those who approve and those who do not – from -1 to -57 points.

To identify the most disliked leaders in the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the recent weekly survey on global leader approval ratings from polling organization Morning Consult, which collects survey data in 22 countries. Data was collected from Oct. 19-25, 2022. Only the 16 leaders with negative net approval ratings are ranked here (net approval was rounded to the nearest point).

Notably, the guy with the highest approval rating among these unpopular country leaders is Brazil‘s President Jair Bolsonaro, who recently lost his reelection bid in an Oct. 30 runoff.

Among these 18 disliked elected leaders, 13 have negative net approval spreads in the double digits, including U.S. President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol. (Here is the final approval rating of every president since Harry Truman.)

New U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has a narrow 2-point negative net approval, an improvement from his time as head of the country’s treasury, when his net approval hit a career low in April of negative 18 points in an Ipsos poll. If Brits do not see an improvement at the kitchen table soon, Sunak’s net approval spread will undoubtedly widen.

Here are the world’s most disliked leaders in the world.

Click here to read our detailed methodology.

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