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Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Opinion About World Leaders: Knowledge and Polarization

Americans’ awareness of foreign leaders varies greatly by age. Adults under 30 are much less likely than those ages 65 and older to be familiar with every leader included in the Center’s new survey – with the exception of Putin, who is known to the vast majority of the public.

For example, nearly six-in-ten Americans ages 18 to 29 say they have never heard of Modi, compared with 28% of those 65 and older. Large age differences also appear for Scholz, Netanyahu and Macron.

There are also consistent gaps in awareness by other demographic factors. Men, for instance, are more likely than women to offer an opinion on various world leaders and less likely to say they have never heard of them. The same is true of more educated Americans relative to those with less formal education. This tracks with past Center research on specific international knowledge among Americans.