The results of the 2023 Henley Passport Index have been revealed, showing which countries have the most powerful passports.
As revealed on Wednesday, January 11, in the latest results from the Henley Passport Index, for the fifth year in a row, Japan tops the list. This makes the Japanese passport the most powerful passport in the world again for 2023.
The prestigious index is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and ranks the world’s 199 passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a visa.
This year’s findings offer a fascinating glimpse into a world marked by unusual turmoil, and perhaps offer an eye-opening look at what lies ahead.
Japanese citizens can visit 193 destinations out of a total of 227 countries visa-free. In second place, South Korea and Singapore have 192 visa-free/visa-on-arrival destinations.
Germany and Spain jointly rank third, with visa-free access to 190 destinations around the world. The United Kingdom and the United States remain in sixth and seventh place, with scores of 187 and 186, respectively. Both seem increasingly unlikely that they will be able to regain the number one spot they have jointly held for nearly a decade.
Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the Henley Passport Index, with between 27 and 166 points fewer visa-free destinations than Japan. This is the largest difference in global mobility in the index’s 18-year history.
Dr Christian H Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners, said the company’s latest study into the relationship between visa-free travel and global economic access revealed what passport power means in tangible financial terms.
“For citizens around the world, a better measure of the economic mobility and tax opportunities offered by their passport is an analysis of the percentage of global GDP they can access without a visa.”
On a macro level, the new study by Henley & Partners reveals that only six percent of the world’s passports give their holders visa-free access to more than 70 percent of the global economy. Only 17 percent of countries give their holders visa-free access to more than four-fifths of the world’s 227 destinations.
A Japanese passport grants visa-free access to 85 percent of the world, and together these countries account for 98 percent of the global economy. Japan’s contribution to the GDP is about 5 percent.
By contrast, the Nigerian passport, at the lower end of the index, only grants visa-free access to 46 destinations, roughly 20 percent of the world. This is only 1.5 percent of global GDP.
At the bottom of the ranking, the Afghan passport provides visa-free access to only 12 percent of the world and less than 1 percent of global economic output.
In terms of percentage of global GDP, the United States and China take the cake. They advance by 25 percent and 19 percent, respectively, but US passport holders can access another 43 percent of global economic output without a visa, bringing their total to 68 percent.
Meanwhile, Chinese passport holders can only get another 7 percent visa-free, bringing their total to just 26 percent of global GDP.
In another order of comparisons, South Korea and Russia have a similar national GDP, about 1.9 percent of global economic output. However, South Korea has a visa-free score of 192, giving passport holders access to 81 percent of the world’s GDP. However, Russia only has a score of 118, giving passport holders access to just 19 percent of the global economy.
India fares worse, despite being the world’s fifth-largest economy, holders of which only have access to 59 destinations around the world and 6.8 percent of global GDP, of which the country’s GDP accounts for almost half.
The war in Ukraine has not yet had a significant impact on the results of the Henley Passport Index for Russia and Ukraine. Both countries have had roughly the same position “on paper” since the invasion almost a year ago.
Russia currently ranks 49th, with a score of 118, while Ukraine is 13th higher, at 36th, with a score of 144. However, due to airspace closures and sanctions, Russian citizens are prohibited from traveling throughout the developed world, with the notable exception of the United Arab Emirates. and Turkey.
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