Like it or not, it is indeed a reality that a person’s citizenship can have a big impact on the quality of their life and ease of access to certain rights, especially when travel is involved. Released by Italian Dual Citizenships, a new International Citizenship Index has outlined which countries offer the best benefits across a range of categories.
The index took different factors into consideration, including passport mobility, human rights, women’s rights, parental leave, political democracy, equal marriage rights, property rights and healthcare performance. Each country was given a score out of five in each category before a total was added up.
Ranking as the best citizenship in the world was Iceland, thanks to the Nordic country’s efforts to provide benefits to its people. To have Icelandic citizenship means new fathers can take 12 weeks paid parental leave when a child is born, while same-sex couples can legally be married within the country. It also ranked the highest for women’s rights, as one of only seven countries to have closed at least 80% of the gender pay gap. Iceland also scored high (second only to Norway) in the political democracy category.
Ireland came in second place thanks to a high passport mobility score. Citizens with an Irish passport can visit 170 countries either without a visa or by gaining one upon arrival. The country also scored better than Iceland in the categories of judicial independence, longer maternity leave (42 weeks compared to Iceland’s 13) and transgender choices.
The top ten proved that European citizenship can come with serious benefits, as it was finished off by Finland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg and New Zealand. The latter country was the only one outside the EU to be in the top ten, scoring well for its high passport mobility, political democracy, property rights and equal marriage rights.
The full study can be found at the official Italian Dual Citizenship website.
This article was first published on www.lonelyplanet.com.