Having a powerful passport is a point of pride among many travelers, as it means you have the ability to travel to more places around the world. Passport strength can fluctuate, and is usually dictated by the country’s politics, safety, and international relationships, but it’s incredibly important for citizens looking to have access to the global community. Every year, the Henley Passport Index reveals a list of the world’s most powerful passports, so people who possess them can feel good about themselves, and people who don’t can be jealous. The index ranks “all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.” This year, the top two countries have remained the same from last year, but there have been changes in the rankings.
Japan and Singapore are tied for the top spot, with each country’s passport granting access to 190 countries. Germany had held the top spot before 2018, but is now tied with South Korea and Finland for second place, with access to 188 countries. This represents an interesting change from several years ago, when the list was consistently topped by European countries.
The US and UK have hit their lowest spots in the rankings since 2010, though overall are still performing pretty well. They’re tied for sixth place, each with access to a respectable 184 countries, but this is still a sharp decline from 2014 when they held the top spot.
Some unexpected countries making a surge this year include Malaysia, which nearly cracked the top 10 and is currently tied for 12th with Lichtenstein, and Eastern European countries like Lithuania and Slovakia holding their own in ninth place.
If your country didn’t crack the top 10, don’t despair — there’s always next year.