QNI Settlement Freedom 2010-2019

Published: 03-04-2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/hrgtddcb32.1
Dimitry Kochenov,
Justin Lindeboom,
Jacquelyn Veraldi


The Quality of Nationality Index (QNI) Settlement Freedom dataset contains the settlement freedom of virtually all nationalities in the world over the last 10 years (2010–2019). Settlement freedom is defined as the freedom of the holder of a particular nationality to have “full access” (that is, being able to freely work and live) to other territories than the one with which the nationality is associated, without being subject to substantive immigration requirements. For measuring Settlement Freedom, settlement in a particular country is considered possible if an adult holder of a nationality is allowed to work there without having to obtain a visa or with a visa acquired on arrival. Permission to work in that country is either not required or virtually automatic. The following factors are not considered in determining the freedom to settle in another country: entitlement to public pension systems; entitlement to health care; entitlement to social security benefits; ability of family members to join the person in question; specific skill qualifications that are required to perform certain professions, particularly of a qualitative nature, such as bar qualifications to practice as a lawyer, medical qualifications to practice as a doctor, or construction-worker qualifications. We also do not take into account any settlement freedom that is based on factors other than nationality itself, such as being in possession of a higher education diploma. We distinguish between Diversity of Settlement Freedom and Weight of Settlement Freedom. Diversity and Weight of Settlement Freedom each account for 15% of the overall score of a nationality in the QNI General Ranking (see Kälin and Kochenov’s Quality of Nationality Index (D. Kochenov and J. Lindeboom eds., 2020)). Diversity of Settlement Freedom refers to the number of destinations to which the holder of a nationality has full access as defined above. Data is gathered through extensive research into the legal requirements for settlement throughout the world, complemented with expert consultation in all regions of the world. The more countries giving full-access settlement to the holder of a nationality, the higher that nationality’s score is on Diversity of Settlement Freedom. All data is converted and normalized on the 0–15 scale. Weight of Settlement Freedom refers to the aggregate value of the destinations to which the holder of a nationality has full access. This aggregate value is based on the sum of weighted scores of those destinations on the QNI’s “Human Development” and “Economic Strength” parameters (see in more detail, Kälin and Kochenov’s Quality of Nationality Index 2020, p. 52–67). Each parameter accounts for 50% of the “destination value” of each destination. The sum of all these destination values becomes the Weight of Settlement Freedom for a given nationality. This sum is normalized on a 0–15 scale. For the Quality of Nationality Index dataset, see 10.17632/53zr7cfyrs.1.