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Which country’s passport is the strongest in the world? Hint: this is not the US

The Singapore passport now has the greatest “passport power” in the world.

Singapore’s travel document has officially surpassed Japan – which has held the top spot for the past five years – as the strongest passport, according to a new report. Henley Passport Index. The US is further down the list, tied for eighth place.

Henley’s passport ranking methodology takes data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), one of the world’s largest databases of travel information, and assigns points based on passport capabilities to allow travel to visa-free destinations. (The ability to travel to countries without a visa is important because it allows for increased tourist or business visits, the US Department of State says the website, and can be bilateral or unilateral.) Each country passport is awarded one point for every place a person can visit, including countries where a person can obtain a visitor permit or electronic travel authority (ETA) upon arrival.

Passport ratings are in the chart below:

Singapore passports allow for the most visa-free travel in the world, a new report shows. Henley & Partners

So what makes Singapore’s No.1 travel document? Anyone holding a Singapore passport can travel to 192 of the world’s 227 travel destinations without a visa, the index said.

The next best passports were European countries Germany, Italy and Spain, which came in second with 190 visa-free travel destinations for anyone holding their passport.

United States passport, that is tied for No. 1 in the world in the Henley ranking in 2014, it is now in 8th place with a Lithuanian passport in the index. The US was seventh last year with 186 points, and is also seventh in 2021 with 185 points in the Henley index.

So why have US passports slipped?

“The story is simple — by being silent more or less, the US has been left behind,” Greg Lindsay, leading global strategist and urban technology fellow at Cornell Tech’s Jacobs Institute, said about the report. “While its absolute score has actually increased over the past decade, the US is steadily being overtaken by rivals such as South Korea, Japan and Singapore. America’s continued decline in the rankings — and the prospect of reclaiming the top spot in the near future — is a warning to neighboring Canada and the rest of the Anglosphere.”

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