If you want to experience the world, it helps to be German.
Now in its ninth year, the annual Henley Passport Index uses metrics culled from the International Air Transport Association (travel freedom, available visas, how your passport has changed over the years, level of access, etc.) and original research to rank 199 international passports.
The not-so-surprising news this year is that Germany maintained its top ranking for the fifth year in a row — it currently allows visa-free access to 177 countries. Singapore ranked a close second.
A few other learnings:
- The U.S. came in fifth, actually improving its score from 2017
- Big gainer: China moved up ten spots, to 75th
- Pakistan, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are, no surprise, in last place
In really good news: 143 countries improved their ranking, and 41 maintained their position. In not so good news: Africa was one continent that saw some dramatic setbacks, with 19 of the 27 biggest plummeters on the index.
You can see a full graph of the rankings here.