Brexit is looming. Countries around the world are looking at declaring their independence. Instead of unifying, the global trend shows that in our drive to be prosperous, we are looking to be smaller parts of a global network. So of that network, which countries are connecting the best with other? We investigate.
The world’s most powerful passport
It’s natural in a time of shifting borders for people to wonder which country allows you easy access to more countries than any other. There are a number of factors which affect which country this would be. You have to take into account; security, inter-country relationships, history of violence, economic stability, wealth and much more. You can find a comprehensive record of this here, at the recently released Henleys Index
With that said, here are a selection of the most powerful passports in the world. We will also show you how many countries they allow you to visit and why:
Number 1: Japan
Japan is a country with so much to offer. They are technological innovators, free-thinkers and excel at efficiency. This year, they are the sole country at the top of the list, joint top at least for the third year in a row. They offer VISA-free access to 191 countries, 2 more destinations than 2 years ago. In doing this they have seperated themself from the next contender on our list.
Number 2: Singapore
Singapore shared the number 1 spot with Japan last time around. Now they are number 2 on the list but only narrowly outdone, offering VISA-free travel to 190 countries. Singapore is a small country very much in the model of Japan; technological powerhouse and stable in all aspects. It is no surprise then that a Singapore passport can offer you so much in the way of travel.
Number 3 + 4: South Korea and Germany
Coming in at 189 countries each are South Korea and Germany, the first European nation on the list.
South Korea are a similar country to number 1 and 2 on this list, advanced technology, great wealth as well as being low on international conflict.
Germany are the centre of Europe and the EU, both financially and geographically. They have great relations with Europe on the whole as well as being a very affluent country with a great deal of business with countries overseas. Given the position that they inhabit in modern day Europe, it is perhaps no surprise where they now find themselves on this list.
Number 5 + 6: Finland and Italy
Europe’s solid base in the centre of the modern world strengthens with two more countries at 5 and 6 able to visit 188 locations.
Italy follows Germany in being an economical powerhouse in Europe. They are connected locally and globally and this has landed them a strong place on this year’s list.
Finland is an interesting country. They rank highly often in being among the happiest countries in the world. They also often have an unconventional way of doing things compared to their neighbours. Their playful and peaceful attitude may add to why their citizens are so well received around the world.
Lowest ranking passport powers
Let’s also look at some of the worst passports in the world for access abroad. The bottom five countries are; Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Pakistan.
Some of these countries share the same problems. Long-term conflict, civil war, high security risks, high death rates, infant mortality. Some of these countries also suffer from a prevalence of religious fundamentalism which has led to terrorist threats or other forms of what we know as extremism. As such, you would expect that there would be a hit in the number of locations that would be happy to allow VISA-free transport. Security is an all time high priority globally. Nations want to avoid the kind of events which have caused multiple deaths in their home soil over the last 20+ years. Vetting and screening is more important than ever.
The countries on this list have as low as 30 locations that they can visit VISA-free without hassle. These figures are not likely to change in the near future without long-term change to the internal goings-on of the countries themselves.
A few years ago, countries like the UK and US topped this list. Changes to open-border policies and the like have had a negative effect on the power of the passport from these traditionally strong places.
One study found that there was a positive correlation between travelling freedom and other kinds of liberties people enjoy. It seems that as a whole, mobility is being seen as an ever-increasing trend, and countries that offer more of it benefit overall.