Which are the world's most powerful passports? Britain and the United States

 
Jessica Morris
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Britain has one of the world's most valuable passports (Source: Arton)

With the ability to cross 147 borders without the need for a visa, US citizens have the most powerful passports in the world, new research has found - although that's shared with the UK.

Financial advisory firm Arton has put together a passport index which ranks the world's most "powerful" passports, crunching data from the International Air Transportation Agency (IATA) as well as individual travellers to see how much visa-free travel they offer.

In today's increasingly globalised world, where citizens, businesses and technology continually cross borders, passports are an important means of controlling the flow of foreign nationals. But this also means they offer a valuable insight into inter-state relations, as countries often make concessions to their friends and vice versa.

Britain and the United States were followed by Eurozone countries France and Germany, as well as - more interestingly - South Korea.

Among the most undesirable passports was the northeast African country of South Sudan - first created in 2011 - giving it just four years to strike up visa-free arrangements with other countries. Another poor performer was North Korea, which requires its citizens to obtain an exit visa meaning many are rarely able to leave the country.

RankCountryVisa-free countries
1.United States147
1. United Kingdom147
2.France145
2. South Korea145
2.Germany145
3.Italy144
3.Sweden144
4.Denmark143
4.Singapore143
4.Finland143
4.Japan143
4.Luxembourg143
4.Netherlands143
5.Switzerland142
6.Spain141
6.Norway141
6.Ireland141
6.Belgium141
6.Portugal141
7.Canada140
7.Greece140
7.Austria140
7.Malaysia140
8.New Zealand139
9.Czech Republic138
9.Australia138
9.Hungary138
10.Poland137
10.Slovakia137
11.Malta136
11.Cyprus136
11.Hong Kong136
12.Slovenia135
12.Iceland135
13.Estonia134
13.Oman134
13.Latvia134
14.Lithuania132
15.Liechtenstein131
15.Bulgaria131
16.Argentina129
16.Israel129
17.Brazil128
17.Romania128
17.Monaco128
18.Brunei125
19.Chile124
19.Croatia124
20.San Marino123
21.Andorra122
22.Mexico119
22.Barbados119
23.Bahamas 117
24.Seychelles116
25.Vatican City113
25.Antigua and Barbuda113
25.Venezuela 113
25.Uruguay113
26.Mauritius111
27.Costa Rica110
27.Panama110
28.Taiwan109
29.Turkey108
29.St. Kitts and Nevis108
30.Macao106
31.Serbia104
32.Paraguay103
33.Macedonia101
34.Honduras100
35.Montenegro98
35.Guatemala98
35.Russian Federation98
36.El Salvador97
36.Moldova97
37.Ukraine96
38.Bosnia and Herzegovina94
39.Nicaragua93
40.Albania91
41.South Africa84
42.Guinea81
43.Trinidad and Tobago77
44.Belize75
45.China74
46.St. Lucia73
47.Peru72
47.United Arab Emirates72
47.Dominica72
48.Grenada71
48.St. Vincent and the Grenadines71
49.Sierra Leone69
50.Cuba68
50.Kenya68
50.Jamaica68
50.Tonga68
50.Botswana68
51.Tuvalu67
52.Niger66
52.Ghana66
52.Belarus66
52.Qatar66
52.Gambia66
53.Maldives65
53.Samoa65
53.Lesotho65
53.Kazakhstan65
54.Vanuatu64
54.Kiribati64
54.Ecuador64
54.Guyana64
54.Kuwait64
55.Fiji63
55.Thailand63
56.Swaziland62
56.Colombia62
56.Nauru62
57.Nigeria61
57.Bahrain61
57.Philippines61
57.Saudi Arabia61
57.Azerbaijan61
57.Tunisia61
57.Tanzania61
57.Mali61
57.Namibia61
57.Zambia61
58.Mongolia60
58.Benin60
58.Morocco60
58.Malawi60
59.India59
59.Georgia59
60.Suriname57
60.Indonesia57
60.Uganda57
60.Papua New Guinea57
60.Senegal57
61.Bolivia56
61.Cape Verde56
62.Armenia55
63.Kyrgyzstan54
63.Marshall Islands54
64.Tajikistan53
64.Uzbekistan53
64.Burkina Faso53
64.Mauritania53
64.Zimbabwe53
64.Egypt53
64.Congo53
65.Mozambique52
65.Liberia52
66.Vietnam51
66.Algeria51
66.Guinea-Bissau51
66.Palau51
67.Togo50
67.Bangladesh50
67.Micronesia50
68.Dominican Republic49
68.Jordan49
68.Haiti49
69.Cameroon48
69.Syria48
70.Libya47
70.Iran47
70.Turkmenistan47
70.Sudan47
70.Sri Lanka47
71.Pakistan46
72.Chad45
73.Cambodia44
73.Lebanon44
73.North Korea44
73.Gabon44
74.Angola43
74.Rwanda43
75.Timor-Leste42
75.Madagascar42
76.Yemen41
76.Kosovo41
76.Democratic Republic of Congo41
76.Central African Republic41
77.Bhutan40
77.Equatorial Guinea40
77.Comoros40
77.Burundi40
78.Eritrea39
78.Somalia39
79.Iraq38
79.Djibouti38
79.Afghanistan38
79.Nepal38
79.Ethiopia38
80.Solomon Islands28
80.Myanmar [Burma]28
80.South Sudan28
80.Sao Tome and Principe28
80.Palestinian Territories28

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