Not only do Germans have the most powerful passports in the world, they also have the highest quality of citizenship, according to a new report. The consultancy Henley & Partners’ first Quality of Nationality Index (QNI) ranks the value of 161 nations’ citizenship on a scale of 0 to 100%.
The top spot out of 161 nations went to Germany. The country scored high for its stability, the health, education and standard of living enjoyed by its citizens, and the ease with which Germans can move, work and settle in other stable economies.
The report takes into account “internal factors” such as a country’s human development (measured using the UNDP Human Development Index that ranks countries on health, education and standard of living); its economic strength (a country’s GDP measured at purchasing power, as determined by the IMF); and its levels of peace and stability (based on figures from the annual Global Peace Index).
The “external factors” it considered include the freedom of both traveling to and settling in a country. The QNI also used measures of “diversity of travel freedom”—that is, the number of destinations that a nation’s citizens can travel to without needing a visa. (This was the ranking that determined the German passport was the world’s most powerful.)
European nations dominated the top 20 spots. The UK came in at 11th place—and the consultancy estimates that the country would fall to 30th place if it leaves the EU. The thinking behind this is its citizens would have less freedom of movement to other countries if the UK leaves the bloc.
In 28th place is the United States. It ranked highly for its economic strength and levels of human development, but fell down on peace and stability, owing to the country’s mid-level ranking on the Global Peace Index, which is heavily affected by the country’s record on militarization and arms.