The world population has less confidence in Donald Trump than Russia's Vladimir Putin or China's Xi Jinping, according to a major US study.

The Pew Research Center, a non-partisan think tank based in Washington D.C., found that Angela Merkel inspired the most confidence globally, compared with Putin, Jinping and Trump.

Pew analysed the confidence expressed by citizens from 37 nations around the world in the leaders of arguably the world's four most powerful countries: Donald Trump (US), Xi Jinping (China), Vladimir Putin (Russia) and Angela Merkel (Germany).

People were asked if they had "confidence in __________ to do the right thing regarding world affairs" and were able to give one of three answers: "yes", "no" and "don't know".

The researchers took the median (middle, or 19th, score) of the 37 countries' responses for each leader, then compared the four.

Trump finished bottom of the pile with a global median of 22% having confidence in him and 74% not having confidence.

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin scored slightly better, with the Chinese leader enjoying 28% confidence vs 53% no confidence, and the ex-KGB man awarded a confidence rating of 27% vs 59% against.

Pew also asked people around the world if they thought Donald Trump exhibited certain personality traits. Unfortunately for the 45th president, respondents tended to associate him with negative characteristics.

Some 75% of people think he is big headed, 65% say he is dangerous and 62% regard him as dangerous.

Trump can at least find solace in his Twitter following, which is the largest for any world leader. He was keen to bring this fact up yesterday (26 June) when he met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.