Any international traveler or semi-intelligent person over the age of 10 (who is not Mos Def) knows that if you want to travel to another country (legally, anyway), you need a passport. You might not think about it while you’re trudging through customs praying for a quickly moving line and a nearby bathroom after a long flight, but the passport you throw down at the counter may carry more or less weight than you think. Passports actually have an international power index that’s based on how much they cost to issue, how easy they are to obtain and how many countries they’ll get you into without a visa. On the low end of the spectrum, passports from places like Palestine and South Sudan will only get you into 28 of the UN’s recognized 206 countries. That’s … not good. Here, in ascending order, are the countries on the opposite end of the scale, the heavy hitters, the 15 most powerful passports in the world, according to a recent GoEuro study.
First on the list is Norway, a country that is at once both stunningly beautiful and stunningly boring, it understands the needs of its citizens to travel abroad from time to time. A Norwegian passport gains a holder access to 171 countries without a visa for the bargain price of $59 US.