Irish among the world’s top 10 nationalities

French nationality has been ranked as the world’s best eight times in a row.

The world does not provide equal opportunities to people, a recent Quality of Nationality Index (QNI) has shown.

The index, which ranks nationalities on the basis of legal status, studied and compared internal and external factors, such as peace and visa-free travel. France has topped the list since its beginning in 2011.


Ireland moved up by one place and came ninth in the latest edition. On the other end of the index, Somalia continues oscillating. Hence, the ranking suggests that, in fact, nationality may be a great obstacle for people to pursue their dreams.

“The emerging picture reveals that while some nationalities are welcomed bundles of rights, others — the majority, in fact — are clear liabilities for their holders,” authors of the index claimed.

The list was created by Dr. Christian Kaelin from Henley & Partners, a firm involved in residence and citizenship planning, and Professor Dimitry Kochenov from the Netherlands.

Ireland in the top 10

Ireland scored 80.2 percent in the recent QNI ranking and ended ninth. The country has improved its score by 0.7 percent from 2011.

It maintained a slightly better score in the past two years, by 0.2 percent, than in the recent ranking. Ireland’s position was nevertheless worse, 10th in 2017 and 12th in 2016.

The QNI looked at how the country fared in terms of human development, economic prosperity, stability, and peace. Two external elements included travel and settlement freedom.

For example, Irish people can travel visa-free to 184 destinations. As a result, Ireland came sixth in the 2019 Henley Passport Index.

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Ireland came the highest in the QNI in 2014 when it ended in the 8th place. The country generally scores well in all categories apart from economic strength.

Britain may fall rapidly

There is not a single country outside the European Union in the top 20 of the ranking. France, which came first with 83.5 percent, gets followed by Germany and the Netherlands.

EU countries took over the first positions, in particular, for their liberal degree of settlement freedom within the EU, which is not the case in the USA. They came 25th because of its poor settlement freedom.

Moreover, Britain, which has come 8th, could drop out of top 10 in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

“The UK may be about to establish a world record in terms of profoundly undermining the quality of its nationality without going through any violent conflict,” Professor Kochenov said.


The bottom three nationalities on this year’s QNI include South Sudan, 157th, Afghanistan, 158th, and Somalia, 159th. All three scored less than 16 percent respectively.

The QNI recorders

The QNI index has, additionally, noticed several performers who made significant improvements in the last five years.

For instance, Timor-Leste has been labelled the highest climber, which rose by 26 places, ending in 92nd place this year. Colombia with its score of 43.3 percent came 59th in 2019. The country has improved its ranking by 19 places over the last five years. The UAE, Moldova, and Croatia have also climbed up significantly.

In contrast to climbers, the Qatari and Libyan nationalities dropped by 25 places since 2014. Qatar came 78th and Libya 145th in 2019.

“It is clear that our nationalities have a direct impact on our opportunities and on our freedom to travel, do business, and live longer, healthier, and more rewarding lives,” Professor Kochenov said. “The reality that the QNI describes is, in many respects, unfair and regrettable.”

Peter Dlhopolec
Peter Dlhopolec

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