A new report concludes that the strength of the U.S. passport lags behind those issued by several other countries.
Holders of passports from European Union (EU) member states—France, Germany, Italy, and Spain—plus Japan and Singapore have the most freedom to travel without having to obtain a visa, according to the 2024 Henley Passport Index. Holders of these passports enjoy visa-free travel to 194 of 227 destinations globally, according to the report.
U.S. Passport Still Ranks in the Top 10
The U.S. passport ranks 7th on the list in terms of travel power, which includes 199 passports issued by countries around the world.
Currently, U.S. citizens can travel to 188 countries without a visa.
Japan and Singapore have led the ranking for the last five years, while the four EU countries are new additions to the top of the list. South Korea, Finland, and Sweden tied for second place on the list, followed by Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands in 3rd place, and the U.K. in 4th place.
Australian and New Zealand passports also rank higher than the U.S., which shared the first-place ranking on the list with the U.K. as recently as 2014.
The index is compiled by Henley & Partners, a firm that works with individuals seeking residence and citizenship via investment. Passport and visa information was drawn from data compiled by the International Air Transport Association.
Christian H. Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners, said that the general trend has been toward greater travel freedom over the 19-year history of the index.
“The average number of destinations travelers can access visa-free has nearly doubled from 58 in 2006 to 111 in 2024,” said Kaelin. “However, as we enter the new year, the top-ranked countries are now able to travel to a staggering 166 more destinations visa-free than Afghanistan, which sits at the bottom of the ranking with access to just 28 countries without a visa.”
This article first appeared at Prevue’s sister site, recommend.com.