The Reichstag, national parliament, has become an iconic symbol of German reunificationy. Europe’s biggest economy has topped three international surveys this year / © TAC

Why German nationality is rated the world’s best

A recent report has ranked Germany as having the best nationality in the world. Drawing on economic and development data and values such as the ability to travel and settle in other countries, the report, entitled the Henley & Partners-Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index (QNI), is the first to objectively rank the quality of nationalities worldwide.

Out of more than 160 nations assessed, Germany was ranked first, followed by Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland (equal fifth). Others in the top 10 are Austria and Ireland (equal 6th), France (7th), Switzerland (8th), Netherlands (9th) and Belgium (10th).

Outside the top 10 nationalities, some well-ranked European countries included the UK (11th), Spain and Italy (13th) and Luxembourg (14th). Further down, the list ranked the United States in 28th place.

Many African states were rated poorly in the report published in June. They are: Sudan (157th), Eritrea (158th), Central African Republic (159th) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (161st).

Considered in the ranking were internal factors (such as the strength of the economy, human development and peace and stability) and external factors (including visa-free travel and the ability to settle and work abroad without cumbersome formalities) that make one nationality better than another in terms of legal status.

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”, said the authors, Henley & Partners and Professor Dimitry Kochenov, a leading expert in comparative citizenship law.

A similar report, the Henley & Partners Visa Restriction Index, which ranks countries according to the travel freedom that their citizens enjoy, was published in April. The German passport also came in first position, offering visa-free travel to 177 countries out of a possible 218.

Moreover, in a report published in January, Germany was ranked the best country in the world in a study of 60 of the world’s leading nations. The survey, conducted by US News & World Report, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and BAV Consulting, gave Germany the number one spot for entrepreneurship (which included factors like well-developed infrastructure and legal framework, technology expertise and an educated population) and ranked it very high for power, citizenship and quality of life.

Kwame Appiah



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