Michelle Obama, former US first lady, has been voted America’s most admired woman in a Gallup poll, ousting Hillary Clinton from the top spot for the first time in 17 years.

Obama sat atop the list released on Friday by Gallup Inc, a Washington based company renowned for its public opinion polls.

Since 1946, Gallup has been asking random survey participants to “name the man and woman living anywhere in the world today that they admire most”.

This year, Gallup surveyed a random selection of 1,025 adults from December 3 to 12.

Obama, who recently released a memoir, ‘Becoming’, received 15 percent of the votes.

Hillary Clinton, who has been at the top more than two dozen times, dropped to third place this year, with Oprah Winfrey taking second.

It was Oprah’s 14th time in the second spot, but she has never claimed first place.

Melania Trump came in fourth, with Queen Elizabeth, Angela Merkel, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ellen DeGeneres, Nikki Haley and Malala Yousafzai joining her in the top 10.

This year marked the 50th time that Queen Elizabeth had made the top 10 list of women.

Michelle’s husband, Barack Obama, also holds the distinction of being the most admired man, with 19 percent naming him for this category, retaining the title for the 11th consecutive year.

If he is named again in 2019, he will tie another former president, Dwight Eisenhower, who holds the record for the highest number of years named most admired man.

President Donald Trump came in second place with 13 percent of the votes.

George W. Bush, Pope Francis, Bill Gates, Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk and Vice President Mike Pence round out the list for the top 10 most admired men.