French nationality remains best in the world

French nationality remains best in the world

France has held on to the top spot for the eighth year in a row according to the latest Quality of Nationality Index

French has been ranked best nationality in the world according to the findings of the latest Quality of Nationality Index (QNI). France has held on to the top spot for the eighth consecutive year, receiving a score of 83.5% out of a possible 100%, putting French nationality in the ‘very high quality’ bracket. Germany and the Netherlands in joint second, Denmark in third, Norway and Sweden in joint fourth and Iceland in fifth make up the top five.

Meanwhile the UK ranked in eighth place with a score of 80.3, ahead of Ireland with 80.2% and Spain with 80%. The UK is back in the top 10 after falling out of it in 2017 for the first time since 2011.

However, according to the report’s findings, the ramifications of a hard Brexit could jeopardise the UK’s position in the rankings. EU countries generally perform well on the Quality of Nationality Index, largely due to the liberal degree of settlement freedom permitted between member states. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the report suggests it could drop to 56th place, the position currently held by China, which would also see it move from the ‘very high quality’ to ‘medium quality’ bracket.


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“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,” says Professor Dr Dimitry Kochenov, co-creator of the Index with Dr Christian H Kaelin.

Kaelin and Kochenov’s Quality of Nationality Index objectively measures and ranks all the world’s nationalities as “legal statuses of attachment to states”. It considers both internal and external factors, and nationalities are ranked on a scale from 0% to 100%. Internally, the QNI looks at how successful nationalities are in terms of economic strength, human development, and peace and stability, while externally it evaluates the worth of nationalities in terms of travel freedom and settlement freedom. France scored highly for both travel and settlement freedom, putting French nationality in the top three.

The US occupies 25th place on the QNI, primarily due to its low settlement freedom compared to EU member states. The bottom three nationalities were South Sudan in 157th, Afghanistan in 158th and Somalia in 159th, the latter receiving a score of just 13.8.


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