We used to think that the most powerful passport to have in the world was that of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, but in 2016, things have changed.
A new index released Wednesday by the British immigration and citizenship firm Henley & Partners reveals that German passports are now the strongest in the world and grants visa-free access to 177 countries.
Henley & Partners ranked 199 countries according to how much freedom each of its citizens have to travel to a possible 218 countries. The index was based off of data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which contains the largest database of travel information.
Each country earned points based on how many other countries their citizens could travel to without a visa as of January 1. Out of the 199 countries, the United Kingdom, Finland, France, Italy and Spain came in third place with access to 175 countries by passport. The United Kingdom previously held the top spot in 2013 to 2015, topping Germany twice. Sweden earned the No. 2 spot with their passports which grant access to 176 countries without a visa.
Here’s the top ten list with how many countries each passport gets you into without a visa:
- 1. Germany, 177
- 2. Sweden, 176
- 3. Finland, France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, 175
- 4. Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, United States, 174
- 5. Austria, Japan, Singapore, 173
- 6. Canada, Ireland (Republic of), Korea (Republic of, South), Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, 172
- 7. Greece, New Zealand, 171
- 8. Australia, 169
- 9. Malta, 168
- 10. Hungary, Czech Republic, Iceland, 167
Unfortunately, the United States fell from second place in 2015 to fourth place in 2016. Americans tied with the Belgians, Danish and Netherlands with access to 174 countries.
The nations at the bottom of the list with the most restricted travel include Iraq at third to bottom, limited to 30 other countries. Pakistan came in second to last with travel access to 29 countries. In last place, Afghanistan came in No. 104 with access to only 25 countries.