Dual citizenships allow people to enjoy certain benefits between two countries and can be incredibly powerful. Some benefits to second citizenship include the ability to live and work freely between two countries, own property in both, vote in either country even if the citizen isn’t present in the country, and travel between both countries with ease. People can apply for dual citizenship for a number of reasons, whether to gain a stronger passport or enjoy the benefits of another country.
Here at Italian Dual Citizenships, we’re experts in dual citizenships, specifically for Italy, and we know what people take into account when applying to become a citizen of another country. That’s why we’ve created an International Citizenship Index to find out which are the best citizenships around the world, considering factors such as passport mobility, human rights, women’s rights, parental leave, political democracy, equal marriage rights and healthcare performance.
Ranking as the best citizenship in the world is Iceland, with Ireland not far behind.
It’s been obvious for some time that Nordic countries tend to have fairly high living standards and one country playing into this rule is Iceland. The European island based in the North Atlantic Ocean feels worlds away from the rest of world, but over the years this has helped it form a society that provides plenty of benefits to its citizens. To have Icelandic citizenship means new fathers can take 12 weeks of paid parental leave to spend with their newborn baby and homosexual couples can legally be married within the country.
The country ranks as the top country for woman’s rights. Although the country hasn’t yet achieved equality of the gender pay gap between men and women, it is one of only seven countries to have closed at least 80% of the gap. It also has one of the highest political democracy scores in the world, only second to Norway. All this makes Iceland the best citizenship in the world with its inclusivity, safety and respect of human rights.
Ireland ranked in 2nd place due to the countries high passport mobility score meaning that citizens can visit 170 countries either without a visa or by gaining a visa on arrival. Ireland wins out over Iceland in just a few categories such as its judicial independence, longer maternity leave at 42 weeks compared to Iceland’s 13 weeks, and that those looking to change their gender in Ireland can do so without surgery. However, Ireland’s low paternity leave let the country down with only 2 weeks for new fathers compared to Iceland’s 12 weeks.
The results suggest that European countries tend to offer some of the best citizenships with the top nine countries in our ranking being located in Europe. On reason for this is that the passport of a European country offers great benefits, allowing its owner to travel between the countries of the EU visa-free. These passports also offer extensive travel around the world either visa-free or with short-term tourist visas. All the top 9 European countries support equal marriage and have top marks for their political democracy.
Interestingly, all five of the Nordic countries ranked in the top ten. They all tend to have a similar way of life, history, religion and social structure making it no surprise that they all ranked in the top 10 together. As EU countries they all have a high passport mobility score with the rest of Europe as their oyster, they all support equal marriage, and all have high human rights scores.
New Zealand landed in 10th place as the only country outside of the EU to come into the top ten. The country generally scores well for most categories with a high passport mobility score, political democracy, property rights and equal marriage rights, sharing similar scores with the top European countries. New Zealand is also the 4th top country for human rights in the world.
We were pleased to see that Italy also ranked as one of the best citizenships in the world at 22, ranking high for freedom of movement, healthcare, transgender rights and labour standards.
The results by continent are as below:
The best citizenship in Europe: Iceland
The best citizenship in South America: Colombia
The best citizenship in North America: Canada
The best citizenship in Oceania: New Zealand
The best citizenship in Africa: South Africa
The best citizenship in Asia: Israel
To create our International Citizenship Index, we looked at the following factors:
Using these categories, we established an overall International Citizenship Index score by scoring each country out of 5 across the elements and totaling this together, allowing for the highest available total score of 60.
The full dataset is available on request.