Pope Francis, President Obama
President Barack Obama meets with Pope Francis in the Oval Office at the White House, Sept. 23, 2015 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images

As Donald Trump is sworn into office with the lowest approval rating of any new president in modern history, he can only look on with envy at the support held for Pope Francis in the United States. A survey by the Pew Research Center released Wednesday indicates that 70 percent of Americans view Francis favorably.

In contrast to the general trend for political leaders across the world, Francis’ favorability rating has actually increased since he began his papacy in 2013. The 80-year-old Argentinean started with a rating of 57 percent.

Currently, just 19 percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Francis. The pope’s popularity has soared even greater among those who describe their religious affiliation as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular.” Viewed favorably by just 39 percent in 2013, the number that now has a “very” or “mostly” favorable view of the pope is now at 71 percent.

Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope, has won acclaim for his liberal stance on a series of issues. He has struck a more moderate tone on subjects like homosexuality and abortion. He has also been vocal about the need to tackle income inequality across the globe.

Among U.S. Catholics, Francis has an 87 percent favorability rating, significantly higher than that of Pope Benedict XVI when he resigned in February 2013. However, it is still lower that Pope John Paul II, who was viewed favorably by more than 90 percent of Americans according to the three studies conducted during his 27 years as pope.

Still, Francis’ popularity is significantly higher than both the man who will be sworn in as president Friday and the man he will replace in the White House. In a string of polls ahead of his inauguration, Trump was shown to have the lowest approval rating of any recent president entering office at an average of 41 percent.

That’s around half the rating current President Barack Obama entered office with. The outgoing president’s approval rating has risen back up to 60 percent as he leaves office, the highest it has been since his early days in the White House in 2009.