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Swedes cheer 'world's second best passport'

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A Swedish passport issued in 2015. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT
17:12 CET+01:00
Got a Swedish passport? Only Germans can beat you in terms of the number of nations you can visit without a visa.
Sweden's passport has been ranked the second best in the world in terms of offering travel freedom.
 
In 2015 it entitled Swedish citizens to visit 176 nations without a visa, a figure topped only by Germany, which allows access to 177 countries.
 
The rankings were released by British consulting firm Henley and Partners, which has been analyzing global travel rights for more than a decade for its Visa Restrictions Index
 
Its research suggests that Swedes have steadily gained more freedom in recent years. In 2013, they could avoid organizing a visa to 173 places.
 
The Nordic country took over the United States to take second place in the table, with the former leading country dropping to fourth place. The US was tied in its new position with Denmark as well as Belgium and the Netherlands, all of which offer easy access to 174 places.
 
The UK, which held the pole position for the previous three years was ranked third, a position it now shares with Spain, Italy, Finland and France, which enable citizens to make trips to 175 locations visa-free.
 
At the other end of the scale, those with a passport from Afghanistan can gain entry to just 25 countries, with people from Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia and Syria also sharing similar restrictions.

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The index was released last week, but went viral in Sweden on Tuesday as residents turned to social media to cheer the powers of the red and gold document.
 
News of the Scandinavian country's increased ranking comes amid a cross-party crackdown on fake documentation, as part of the nation's efforts to combat terrorism.

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