Only one-third of Americans have a valid US passport

April 21, 2021, 4:40 PM UTC

Only a third of American adults say they have a valid and unexpired U.S. passport (37%) – about the same percentage as those who have never had a passport at all (38%). Another one in five Americans (20%) have an expired or invalid passport.

A recent Economist/YouGov poll doesn’t show any party gap on this question, as Democrats (41%) and Republicans (38%) are equally likely to hold and not hold valid passports. But there are economic and regional divides on who is able to travel outside the United States. 

Four in ten adults in the Northeastern (40%) and 45% of those living in Western states hold valid passports, while one-third of those in the South (33%) and Midwest (35%) have one.  

Possession of a valid passport increases dramatically with income. One in five Americans with a household income under $50,000 (21%) have a valid passport, compared to 44% of those with an annual household income between $50,000 to $100,000. Two-thirds of Americans (64%) with a household income above $100,000 have a valid US passport. 

That is also the case with higher education: a majority of those with only a high school education or less have never had a passport, while 58% of those with at least a college degree have one that is currently valid.  

See the toplines and crosstabs from this Economist/YouGov poll 

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Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US Adult Citizens interviewed online between April 10 - 13, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 2.8% for the overall sample  

Image: Getty