Deeply saddening, yes, but the reality that can be observed in this world is that a person’s nationality forms a sort of an invisible ceiling in terms of opportunities available to them.

Right now, there is a way to circumvent this — get another citizenship. Entrepreneurs typically engage in this activity in the form of investment migration.

Which nationalities are deemed, “high quality,” then? Henley & Partners in collaboration with Dimitry Kochenov created the Quality of Nationality Index.

How the Index is Formed

In order to gauge the quality of a nationality, the QNI takes into account two factors:

01. Internal

Quality of life, opportunities for growth within the country of origin.

  • Human development – In terms of the UN Human Development Index
  • Economic prosperity – in terms of Gross Domestic Product at Purchasing Power Parity (GDP at PPP)
  • Peace – based on the Global Peace Index
  • Stability – based on from the Global Peace Index

02. External

Diversity and quality of opportunities a nationality permits to pursue outside the country of origin.

  • Travel freedom – the number of jurisdictions you can travel to while holding a particular nationality
  • Settlement freedom – the number of jurisdictions you can travel to while holding a particular nationality.

The weights of the factors in the QNI are as follows:

Rankings and Insights

As of 2017, here are the rankings of the world’s nationalities based on the QNI. 168 nationalities were given official QNI scores.

The nationalities which made it to the top 10 in terms of the General QNI are:

  1. France
  2. Germany 
  3. Iceland
  4. Denmark 
  5. Norway
  6. Sweden
  7. Finland, Italy
  8. Ireland, Switzerland
  9. Austria
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In terms of settlement freedom, the top three are France (Top 1), Netherlands (Top 2), and Finland and Iceland (tied at Top 3).

Meanwhile, in terms of travel freedom, France remains to be in the top spot. Japan and Sweden are tied at second best when it comes to freedom in travel. In third place is Singapore.

One important finding in this study is that being the biggest economy does not necessarily mean that you have the best nationality. 

Henley & Partners mentioned the case of China, an economic giant and Liechtenstein, a small economy compared to the latter. Liechtenstein ranks at 14th place. On the other hand,  lags way behind at 59th place.

More than the economic power, being a good nationality is a matter of providing the opportunity to grow to those who bear it — inside and outside the country.

Hopefully, we’re headed towards a future where nationality will not define or limit a person’s ability to succeed.

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