Germany has the most powerful passport in the world, according to the results of a 2017 travel ranking.

Coming a close second is Sweden, followed by Singapore, which overtook South Korea as the most powerful in Asia this year.

The UK narrowly made it into the top 10, beating the USA by just three countries.

The latest ranking, released by Passportindex.org, takes into account the number of visa-free regions and countries that a passport has access to.

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It includes destinations that are completely visa-free and the ones that require visa on arrival.

New Zealand was ranked at 22, but this did not take into affect the recent visa rule changes when travelling to South Africa, which bumps us down to the same level as Australia.

Germany's passport, which allows its holders to travel to 158 countries around the world without having to get a visa before departure, is top of the list.

The country held the same position last year but it now offers one less destination compared to 2016.

The Swedish and Singaporean passports both allow its holders to visit 157 destinations.

However, Sweden ranks higher on the list because 123 of these destinations are completely visa-free (rather than visa on arrival) while for Singapore, it's 122.

The rest of the top 10 is made up of European countries including Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Norway and the UK.

South Korea, which had previously been the most powerful passport out of the Asian nations, fell to 24 this year.

Afghanistan has the least powerful passport out of 199 countries, allowing its nationals to travel to just 23 countries and regions without having to obtain a visa beforehand.

It's followed by Pakistan, Iraq and Syria, which are open to 26, 28 and 29 countries and regions respectively.

The list is updated each year and will vary according to the visa-waivers that were signed during the year.

The Marshall Islands for example, opened up to 35 new regions compared to last year.

Similarly, Peru also added 33 countries to its roster of visa-free destinations.

Both of these are a reflection of increased travel freedom between countries.

According to a new World Openness Score forming part of the rankings, which measures the freedom of mobility around the globe, there has been an increase in open borders since last year.

WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL PASSPORTS

1. Germany (158) *

2. Sweden (157)

3. Singapore (157)

4. Denmark (156)

5. Finland (156)

6. France (156)

7. Spain (156)

8. Switzerland (156)

9. Norway (156)

10. United Kingdom (156)

11. United States of America (156)

12. Italy (155)

13. Netherlands (155)

14. Belgium (155)

15. Austria (155)

16. Luxembourg (155)

17. Portugal (155)

18. Japan (155)

19. Malaysia (154)

20. Ireland (154)

22. New Zealand (154)

25. Australia (153)

Source: passportindex.org

Number in brackets refers to the total number of countries and regions that passport holders can travel to without getting a visa. This includes visa-free and visa on arrival destinations. The ranking is based on both figures.