Expats & Travelers Remember Your Nationality Matters

The power of your passport and the status of your nationality has a big impact on your ability to travel around the world and prosper. The impact on your life can be significant. So the Quality of Nationality Index looks to rate the actual power, opportunities and challenges offered to its citizens. In a globalized world we are all still defined by where we live and our nationality can confer status or problems on it’s people.

Henley and Partners — Kochenov’s Quality of Nationality Index breaks down the value of nationality into four parts; freedom of travel, freedom of settlement, economic strength, and human development. It seeks to quantify how lucky or unlucky you are based upon your nationality.

Prof. Dr. Dimitry Kochenov, a constitutional and citizenship law professor and co-creator of the Index, says the key premise of the QNI is that it is possible to compare the relative worth of nationalities as opposed to simply that of states. “Using a sophisticated combination of quantifiable data derived from leading international institutions and experts, including the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Air Transport Association, the QNI measures the internal value of nationality, which refers to the quality of life and opportunities for personal growth within our country of origin, as well as the external value of nationality, which identifies the diversity and quality of opportunities that our nationality allows us to pursue outside our country of origin.”

Wealthy countries don’t always rate highest. While the wealth of a country isn’t necessarily a predictor of how well it will do on the QNI the countries which lead are all developed nations. Not surprisingly countries from Europe do best. They are known for how strong their passports are (determined by the number of countries you can visit visa-free or a simple visa-on-arrival), the ability for their citizens to travel freely within the EU for work or school, their economic success and commitments to developing their citizens.

In the area of travel, Germany wins with 176 visa-free or visa-on-arrival destinations while France comes out on top overall. The French nationality earned a score of 81.7% out of a possible 100%, fractionally ahead of Germany, which was knocked off the top spot for the first time in seven years, with a score of 81.6%. While the difference between France’s and Germany’s results is relatively small, France’s comparative advantage lies in its greater Settlement Freedom (attributable mainly to the country’s former colonial empire).