The 21 most powerful passports in the world

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Shutterstock

If you have citizenship in Sweden, you have a great deal of traveling power – Swedes can fly to 187 countries without a visa. This makes international travel cheaper and easier than it is for citizens of many other countries. Citizens of Afghanistan can fly to just 30 countries without a visa.

These stark differences are revealed in the Passport Index, which ranks countries based on the number of nations where residents can enter without a visa or obtain a visa on arrival. The citizenship planning firm Henley & Partners compiled government data from 200 nations, territories, and microstates to create the 2018 ranking, which the company updated this week.

Here are the 21 countries with the highest-ranking passports. Many of these nations are tied, which is why we start at #5.


5. (tied) Switzerland — 185 countries

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Geneva, Switzerland
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ITU Pictures/Flickr

5. (tied) Ireland — 185 countries

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Dublin, Ireland
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Shutterstock/Bartkowski

5. (tied) Canada — 185 countries

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Ottawa, Canada
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Vlad G/Shutterstock

5. (tied) Belgium — 185 countries

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Brussels, Belgium.
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Thomson Reuters

4. (tied) The United States — 186 countries

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Los Angeles, California
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Shutterstock

4. (tied) The United Kingdom — 186 countries

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Bristol, United Kingdom.
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Madrugada Verde/Shutterstock

4. (tied) Portugal — 186 countries

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Évora, Portugal
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Takashi Images/Shutterstock

4. (tied) The Netherlands — 186 countries

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Delft, Netherlands
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Yves Herman/Reuters

4. (tied) Luxembourg — 186 countries

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Bock, Luxembourg
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Will Martin/Business Insider

4. (tied) Austria — 186 countries

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Salzburg, Austria
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MaxPixel

4. (tied) Norway — 186 countries

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Oslo, Norway
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Shutterstock/Nenad Nedomacki

3. (tied) Sweden — 187 countries

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Stockholm, Sweden
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Tommie Hansen/Flickr

3. (tied) Spain — 187 countries

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Barcelona, Spain
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Chris McGrath/Getty Images

3. (tied) Italy — 187 countries

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Venice, Italy
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REUTERS / Manuel Silvestri

3. (tied) South Korea — 187 countries

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Seoul, South Korea
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Public Domain

3. (tied) France — 187 countries

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Paris, France
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Zheltikov Dmitry/Shutterstock

3. (tied) Finland — 187 countries

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Shutterstock

3. (tied) Denmark — 187 countries

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Copenhagen, Denmark
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Mapics/ Shutterstock

2. Germany — 188 countries

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Berlin, Germany
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Getty Images

1. (tied) Singapore — 189 countries

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Thomson Reuters

1. (tied) Japan — 189 countries

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Tokyo, Japan
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Getty Images

Japan topped this year’s Passport Index, surpassing Singapore.

The two countries were tied at 180 countries until March 2018, when Benin relaxed its visa requirements for Japan. Earlier in the year, Henley also added eight territories and microstates for consideration in the ranking: Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Monaco, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Palestine, Vatican City, and San Marino, all of which Japan passport-holders can access without a visa.