The Henley Passport Index 2021 names the Japanese passport as the world's most powerful

It may seem a bit meaningless in a travel world ravaged by the coronavirus, but once again Japan has been named the most powerful passport, according to one visa index.

The Henley Passport Index uses data from the International Air Transport Association for its measurements, covering 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.

It ranks passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.

Japan's visa-free score of 191 means it has topped the chart for the third year in a row. Singapore is in second place with 190.

Australia is in joint eighth place with 184 countries its citizens are able to visit visa-free, alongside Czech Republic, Greece, Malta.

Henley & Partners chair Christian H. Kaelin said Covid has obviously been a major factor over the last year.

"Just a year ago all indications were that the rates of global mobility would continue to rise, that travel freedom would increase, and that holders of powerful passports would enjoy more access than ever before," Kaelin told CNN Travel.

"The global lockdown negated these glowing projections, and as restrictions begin to lift, the results from the latest index are a reminder of what passport power really means in a world upended by the pandemic."

At the other end of the table, Afghanistan has the world's least powerful passport with a score of 26 visa-free destinations.


The Henley Passport Index isn't the only measurement of a passport's "strength". The Passport Index by Arton Capital uses a slightly different methodology and looks at the passports of 193 United Nations member countries and six territories. Last year it ranked New Zealand as the most powerful passport, according to its data, with the Australian passport coming in second place.

The top 10 most powerful passports according to Henley Passport Index

Japan (191)
Singapore, (190)
Germany, South Korea (189)
Finland, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg (188)
Austria, Denmark (187)
France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden (186)
New Zealand, Belgium, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States (185)
Australia, Czech Republic, Greece, Malta (184)
Canada (183)
Hungary (182)

The least powerful passports

Afghanistan (26)
Iraq (28)
Syria (29)
Pakistan (32)
Somalia, Yemen (33)
Palestinian Territory (37)
Libya, Nepal (38)
North Korea (39)
Kosovo, Lebanon, Sudan (40)
Bangladesh, Iran (41)

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