Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? Superman Reigns Supreme As Nation’s Favourite Superhero

10 Jan 2024, 4 p.m.

  • In a recent survey of 2,000 UK adults, Superman was revealed as the favourite childhood superhero, with 18% of respondents ranking him top, closely followed by Batman (16%) and Spiderman (15%).
  • Superman had the highest appeal among the Silent Generation (over 78s) and Generation X (45-58), while only one in eight (13%) Generation Zs (18-26) selected him.
  • Spiderman came out on top amongst Generation Zs, with 1 in 3 (34%) selecting the Marvel star as their favourite.

From Christopher Reeve to Henry Cavill, Superman has captured the hearts of millions of fans over the generations, but a new poll has revealed him as the UK’s favourite childhood superhero, with nearly 1 in 5 people (18%) voting the Krypton native turned Daily Planet journalist as number one.

A new survey of 2,000 UK adults, commissioned by Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity), has revealed the nation’s top three favourite superheroes as Superman, closely followed by Batman (16%) and Spiderman (15%).

Superman may have the strongest appeal overall, but it was Marvel’s Spiderman who came out on top for Generation Z respondents, with around a third (34%) of 18-25-year-olds voting him as their favourite, followed by Iron Man in second place (20%) and Batman in third (16%).

Whichever their favourite, GOSH Charity is calling on members of the public to channel their inner superhero by taking on a sponsored challenge event in 2024 to raise money for seriously ill children being treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

Whether it’s running a local 10k or the TCS London Marathon, walking the Thames Path or trekking the Jurassic Coast, GOSH Charity supporters can choose from a range of challenge events to suit their own superpowers!

Everyone who registers for a challenge event through GOSH Charity will benefit from a reduced entry fee*, training advice and a complimentary Team GOSH running vest or t-shirt.

The survey found a clear gender divide when it comes to superheroes, with nearly three-quarters of male respondents saying they had a favourite childhood superhero (70%), whereas only half of women (51%) responded in the same way. Of the women who did profess to having a favourite, it might be unsurprising that almost 1 in 4 (24%) named Wonder Woman as their top choice.

And it’s not just superpowers and triumphant tales that fans love; the survey also revealed a more sentimental message about our favourite superheroes. Roughly one in five (21%) Generation Z respondents believe that superheroes taught them to ‘never give up’ as a child, with ‘the difference between good and evil’ (20%) and ‘the importance of kindness’ (19%), also featuring in superheroes’ school of life.

However that sentiment isn’t felt across the generations; nearly three-quarters (74%) of young adults (under 26s) believe that superheroes taught them at least one important value or life lesson as a child, whereas only 28% of older people (55+) feel the same.

Josh Usher, 35, and Liam Collins, 34, from Bedfordshire share the nation’s love for superheroes and have experienced GOSH Charity’s support first-hand. Last summer, the long-time friends took on the Jurassic Coast Challenge - a 96-mile hike in 48 hours - for GOSH Charity, to thank staff and volunteers at GOSH for the care they provided to their respective families. What’s more, the pair dressed up as their favourite superheroes to make the challenge that bit tougher!

Josh Usher said: “Without GOSH, we wouldn’t have had the eight magical weeks we had with our daughter, Hallie. Although eight weeks is a very short amount of time, it meant we could do things with Hallie that we never thought we would. Things like singing and reading to her, having her christened by the GOSH Chaplaincy team, and having beautiful family photos taken by a GOSH Charity-funded photographer.

“The Jurassic Coast Challenge was easily the hardest thing I’ve ever attempted, but it was also one of my greatest achievements. Liam and I are so grateful for everyone who sponsored us; from friends, families and strangers we passed along the route.

“Knowing we were doing it for GOSH made the sore legs worth it! They were there for my family when we needed them most.”

Katie Gray, Head of Mass Participation at GOSH Charity, said: “Everyone who takes part in a challenge event for GOSH Charity can be safe in the knowledge that, not only are they setting their sights on a fantastic personal achievement, but they are also making a real difference to seriously ill children and families being treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

“We are truly grateful to everyone who is brave enough to join a challenge event – be it a hike, a run, or even a skydive. To us, you are all superheroes!”

To get involved and find out more about Challenge Events taking place in 2024, go to:

*Versus the cost of the registration fee for a ballot/ non-charity place.


Contact Information

For more information, please contact: 

Grace Waters, GOSH Charity press office

Notes to Editors

Notes to editors

Survey details

For the survey, Opinium Research polled 2,000 UK adults from 8 to 12 December (online). The results have been weighted to be nationally representative.

About Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity)

Great Ormond Street Hospital is one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals with the broadest range of dedicated, children’s healthcare specialists under one roof in the UK. The hospital’s pioneering research and treatment gives hope to children from across the UK with the rarest, most complex and often life-threatening conditions. Our patients and families are central to everything we do – from the moment they come through the door and for as long as they need us.

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity needs to raise money to support the hospital to give seriously ill children the best chance for life. The charity funds research into pioneering new treatments for children, provides the most up to date medical equipment, funds support services for children and their families and supports the essential rebuilding and refurbishment of the hospital. You can help us to provide world class care for our patients and families. For more information visit