Security and standard of living beyond the passport: A Look at Comprehensive Citizenship Rankings

Article written by Aydin Aksoy IMCM, Director and Company Owner of White Bird Group

For years, we have relied on annual passport rankings from various institutions. These rankings focus solely on visa-free travel privileges, targeting frequent travellers seeking visa-free destinations.

However, a truly comprehensive ranking system should consider travel freedom (mobility) and the overall strength (power) of a particular citizenship.

Imagine this: You hold a citizenship that allows visa-free travel to many countries. However, when applying for residency in Greece, you encounter limitations beyond mere travel. This highlights the inadequacy of solely focusing on visa-free travel.

Many individuals with seemingly “weaker” citizenships, but holding strong qualifications and long-term visas from developed nations, still seek citizenships with greater power. Why? Travel is unlikely to be the sole motivator.

Many individuals grapple with significant limitations imposed by their primary citizenship. These limitations can range from difficulties opening bank accounts and transferring funds legally to restrictions on freedom of speech, women’s rights, press freedoms, and even basic freedoms like clothing choices.

It is these issues that drive the pursuit of stronger citizenship.

Through extensive research, we developed a ranking system that considers these crucial factors, moving beyond passports to encompass the true power of citizenship.

Here are some of the parameters we incorporate:

  • Safety and Security
  • Personal freedom
  • Governance
  • Social capital
  • GDP per capital
  • Investment environment
  • Enterprise conditions
  • Market access
  • Living conditions
  • Health
  • Mobility
  • Population
  • Military strength
  • Education

Weighting Parameters in the Citizenship Ranking System

Our ranking system goes beyond simply counting visa-free travel destinations. It assigns a specific weight to each parameter based on its relative importance. Think of it like a university credit system, where a one-credit course carries less weight than a three-credit course.

Each parameter is then scored on a scale of 1 to 100 compared to other countries. This acknowledges that different parameters have inherently different measurement scales. For instance, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita might range from $1 to $10,000 worldwide. A country with a GDP per capita of $5,000 would score 50 on this parameter.

Now, imagine we assign a weight of 2 (out of a total weight of 4) to the GDP per capita parameter. Multiplying the score (50) by the weight (2) gives us 100. This weighted score is then added to the weighted scores of other parameters and divided by the total weight of all considered parameters. The resulting number represents a weighted average score, similar to a university system’s Grade Point Average (GPA).

Finally, this GPA score for each country is compared to the scores of other countries. Based on this comparison, a citizenship ranking is assigned (e.g., Greece might rank 37th).

This method provides a more comprehensive understanding of the true benefits of citizenship, not just travel freedom. It allows you to assess the potential impact of acquiring citizenship in a particular country (X or Y) beyond just visa-free travel destinations, many of which you might never visit.

In essence, this ranking system helps you make a more informed decision about your future by considering the broader advantages of citizenship.

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