A U.S. passport Pixabay/ cytis

There are 25 countries in the world whose passports are more "powerful" than the United States'. That is, allowing their holders to enter more countries without needing a visa.

The stats come from the latest edition of a yearly ranking crafted by Henley & Partners, and illustrate a growing gap between the doors opened by the most powerful passports compared to those at the bottom of the list.

Christian Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners, said in a press release that since 2006 the average number of destinations travelers can access without needing a visa has nearly doubled.

"The average number of destinations travelers are able to access visa-free has nearly doubled from 58 in 2006 to 111 in 2024. However, as we enter the new year, the top-ranked countries are now able to travel to a staggering 166 more destinations visa-free than Afghanistan, which sits at the bottom of the ranking with access to just 28 countries without a visa," reads a passage of the release.

At the top of the list are a series of Europeanand Asian countries: holders of passports from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and Singapore can enter 194 countries. They are followed by Finland, South Korea and Sweden, with 193 out of the 227 possible.

The United States, on its end, is in seventh place along with Canada and Hungary, its passport providing visa-free access to 185 countries.

The two North-American countries have the strongest passports of the Western Hemisphere, as Chile, Argentina and Brazil, the next ones on the list, only come 43rd, 44th and 45th, respectively, their passports accessing 177, 174 and 173 destinations. Mexico comes in at 52nd, with 161 countries opening their doors to its passport.

Haiti is at the bottom of the region, on 87th place along with countries such as Jordan, Egypt and Vietnam and the ability to enter 55 countries in the world with their passports. Cuba stands 78th, according to the ranking, which uses data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The ranking also highlighted that the UAE has been the biggest climber over the past decade, "adding an impressive 106 destinations to its visa-free score since 2014, resulting in a massive leap of 44 places in the ranking from 55th to 11th position."

It added that Ukraine and China are also among the Top 5 countries with the most improved rankings over the past 10 years. And while "Russia has seen a net gain of 24 destinations over the past decade, its visa-free score and ranking has barely shifted since 2017, and it now sits in 51st place with access to 119 destinations."

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