New Zealand's passport has been slipped down the ranks from 8th-equal to 9th-equal "most powerful" in the world, as Singapore reclaims the number one position alongside Japan.

The ranking has been produced by the Henley Passport Index, using data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). It analyses how many countries a passport holder can enter visa-free or on a visa-on-arrival basis.

New Zealand passport holders can travel without visas to 180 countries, where Japan and Singapore's citizens get visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 189 countries.

In third place are the passports of Denmark (no change), Italy (no change) and Luxembourg (up from fourth) followed by France (down from third), Sweden (down from third) and Spain (no change) in fourth place.

The top
The top "ten". Photo / NZ Herald

Joint fifth are Austria, Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland (all no change).

The US and the UK, which jointly occupied the top spot in 2015, have slid down the rankings once again to 6th place.

In sixth, with the UK and the USA, are Norway (down from fifth), Belgium (no change), Canada (no change), Greece (no change) and Ireland (no change).

Malta is in seventh place followed by the Czech Republic in eighth and Australia, Iceland, New Zealand and Lithuania in joint ninth.

The top ten is rounded off with Latvia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

In significant shifts elsewhere, report the Daily Mail, the United Arab Emirates has entered the top 20 for the first time, more than doubling its number of visa-free destinations to 167 over the past five years.

The world's least powerful passport is that issued by Afghanistan, as citizens only have access to 25 countries.

Iraqis get visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to just 27 destinations followed by the Syrian passport on 29 countries and the Pakistani passport with visa-free travel to 33 countries.