Cover Find out which passport tops the Henley Index in 2021 (Photo: Pixabay.com)

In the latest most powerful passports world-ranking in 2021, Asia takes the top honours

The Henley Index—an annual ranking of the world’s passports by international access such as the ability to enter foreign countries without a visa—has updated its rankings for the second half of 2021. The latest report also shows that the global gap in travel freedoms has never been wider. While Asia takes the honours in the top three positions, Europe still continues to dominate.

For the third year in a row, Japan’s passport still continues to top the Henley Index, allowing holders of Japanese passports to enter 192 foreign countries visa-free or visa-on-arrival. Other countries in Asia remain in the top three with Singapore’s passport following at number two and South Korea’s passport pacing at number three together with Germany’s passport.

Though it’s important to keep in mind that actual travel access is different even to top-scoring passports due to current travel restrictions. Notably, the United States and United Kingdom’s passports have dropped to number eight in the rankings, following a steady decline since holding the top spot in 2014. Hong Kong’s passport takes the 19th spot with access to 171 countries visa-free or visa-on-arrival.

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The  top 10 rankings are as follows:

  1. Japan—192
  2. Singapore—192
  3. Germany and South Korea—190
  4. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Spain—189
  5. Austria and Denmark—188
  6. France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden—187
  7. Belgium, New Zealand, Switzerland—186
  8. Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Malta, United States and United Kingdom—185
  9. Australia and Canada—184
  10. Hungary—183

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This article was originally published on January 5, 2021 and was updated on October 6, 2021.