Your country of citizenship can play a huge role in determining not only the quality of your daily life, but also your travel prospects. A new index released by Italian Dual Citizenships is revealing which countries have the best citizenship benefits across categories like passport mobility, parental leave, political democracy, equal marriage rights, human rights, women’s rights, property rights, and healthcare.

Due to its extensive efforts to provide benefits to its citizens, like 12 weeks of paternity leave and a progressive stance on same-sex marriage, Iceland took the index’s top spot. Its high ranking is also due to its stance on women’s rights, being one of only seven countries to have closed 80 percent of its gender pay gap.

Ireland

Photo: Giancarlo Liguori/Shutterstock

Ireland ranked second, thanks partially to its high passport mobility; Irish passport holders can visit 170 countries without a visa or by obtaining one upon arrival. The length of maternity leave in Ireland is 42 weeks, which is much higher than Iceland’s 13. The paternity leave, however, is a let-down, with only two weeks given to new fathers.

The top 10 best citizenships rank as follow:

  1. Iceland
  2. Ireland
  3. Finland
  4. Sweden
  5. The UK
  6. The Netherlands
  7. Denmark
  8. Norway
  9. Luxembourg
  10. New Zealand

European nations dominate the top 10, especially Nordic countries.

Botswana and Cape Verde ranked the lowest, with poor scores across the board, particularly in healthcare and passport mobility. And perhaps surprisingly, the US falls in the bottom half at number 35 of 50.

It’s also interesting to note that the majority of the countries on the index, including seven in the top 10, scored a 1 out of 5 for paternity leave.

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