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U.S. President Barack Obama smiles as he hosts a meeting with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing
REUTERS/Larry Downing
World leaders, Facebook stars

Narendra Modi is more “Liked” in America than most American politicians—but these world leaders still have him beat

By Zach Wener-Fligner

2014-15 Fellow. Quartz Things team.

Narendra Modi’s campaign for Prime Minister earlier this year was marked by a particularly adept social media strategy. On Facebook, the Indian politician has been “Liked” over 22 million times.

Over 90% of those ‘Likes’ come from users in India, as you’d expect. But he’s also apparently popular with Facebook users in the US: Modi’s Facebook support is greater than that of all but the best-known American politicians.

But Modi is not the most-Liked international politician by US Facebook users. Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto are more popular. (Some prominent leaders, including Xi Jinping of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia, don’t have “official” Facebook pages.)

Still, Modi’s following in the US has increased steadily over the past several months, aided by the visibility the Prime Minister enjoys in his new role.

Users in the US comprise the fourth-largest Facebook fan base for Modi—after India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The demographic profile of those users isn’t clear, though if the crowd that showed up to Modi’s appearance at Madison Square Garden in New York last weekend is any indication, they are likely made up largely of Indian-Americans—in 2010, a population of 2.8 million—as well as the tens of thousands of Indian citizens working in the US.

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