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Who has the world’s best nationality?

Published on 02/06/2016

Can you independently measure the value of a person’s nationality? A new index has tried, ranking nations according to economic and development data alongside external values such as the ability to travel and settle in other countries.

Over 160 nations were assessed in the new Quality of Nationality Index 2015, published June 2016. Germany was ranked first, followed by Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland (equal fifth). In contrast, numerous African states were rated poorly: Sudan (157th), Eritrea (158th), Central African Republic (159th), and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (161st).

Outside the top 10 nationalities, some well-ranked European countries included Belgium (10th), the UK (11th), Spain and Italy (13th), Luxembourg (14th) and Portugal (16th). Farther down the list ranked the United States in 28th place, while close behind New Zealand, Canada and Australia were ranked 31–33 respectively. See the full list.

The index claims to be the first of its kind to bring together internal and external indicators. Internal values include data on the economy (gross domestic product), human development (the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index) and peace and stability (Global Peace Index).

The more individuals are restrained by national borders, the lower the value; the less noticeable the borders, the higher the value.

The index measures the opportunities and limitations that nationalities impose on citizens and represents “the extent to which holders of a particular nationality can genuinely enjoy the benefits of a globalised world and an increasingly transnational life”, the organisers Henley and Partners and Kochenov said in their report.