Tiny Singapore now has the world’s most powerful passport, according to a new ranking, with its citizens able to travel to the greatest number of countries visa free.
The ranking which was made public on Wednesday showed that Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, has one of the poorest passports and can only visit 44 countries either without visa as they can have such issued to the traveller upon arrival.
Passport Index ranks countries according to how easy it is for their citizens to travel outside of their country.
Developed by Canada-based global consultancy Arton Capital, the Passport Index is currently the world’s most popular interactive online tool that ranks the world’s passports.
Nations are given a score based on the total amount of countries citizens can travel to visa-free and the one with the greatest amount gets top spot.
It is understood that the city-state grabbed the top spot after Paraguay removed restrictions for Singaporeans.
That means the approximately 3.4 million holders of Singaporean passports can now travel to 159 countries either without a visa at all, or can have one issued on arrival.
Germany came in second place, with its citizens able to visit 158 countries without a visa, while Sweden and South Korea tied for third.
The US passport was in sixth place, alongside Malaysia, Ireland and Canada while Afghanistan came bottom of the list with visa-free access to just 22 countries.
According to the Index, Djibouti and Congo with visa-free to 45 countries; Algeria (46); Liberia, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, and Burundi and Cameroon (47) are African countries with a stronger passport than Nigeria.
Others are Central Africa Republic (48); Guinea-Bissau, Chad, Egypt (50); Comoros, Gabon, Mali, Madagascar (52); Togo, Niger, Mozambique (53); Rwanda (54); Senegal, Mauritania, Burkina Faso (55); Guinea, Ivory Coast (56); Sao Tome, Benin, Morocco (58); and Ghana, Sierra Leone (60).
Uganda and Zimbabwe rank higher with 61 and 62 visa-free countries respectively, while Cape Verde, Tunisia and Zambia are on 63; followed by Tanzania (65); Gambia (66); Namibia (67); and Kenya, Malawi (68).
Here are the top ten below:
1. 159 – Singapore
2. 158 – Germany
3. 157 – Sweden, South Korea
4. 156 – Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, Spain, Norway, Japan, United Kingdom
5. 155 – Luxembourg, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Portugal
6. 154 – Malaysia, Ireland, Canada, United States of America
7. 153 – Austria, Greece, New Zealand
8. 152 – Malta, Czech Republic, Iceland
9. 150 – Hungary
10. 149 – Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia