LONDON (Reuters) – British passports are widely accepted as a legal document, but are not universally accepted by passport holders worldwide, a new report by the Office for National Statistics has found.
“Our data indicates that passport numbers have not been universally accepted across the world,” the OBS report said.
It found that around 1.1 billion passports were issued in the United Kingdom in 2016, but around one in 10 issued were issued by one or more of the top 10 issuers.
That would mean around 665 million people in the world, or nearly 4.5 percent of the world’s population, were issued passports in 2016.
Only two countries, India and Iran, had higher levels of passport issuance than the United States, according to the report, which did not include India’s passport numbers, which are widely believed to be counterfeit.
A passport issued by Iran was discovered by security cameras at a hotel in Tehran in 2015, and was found to be fraudulent.
A passport issued in Iran is also believed to have been used in a car bombing in Dubai in 2008.
The OBS said the report was based on data from the National Passport Statistics Agency (NPSA), a U.S.-based agency.
The agency does not release data on the number of passports issued, but said it collected the data on an annual basis.
A number of countries in the Middle East and Africa do not accept passports as legal documents, while China, which is one of the largest exporters of passports, does not issue them.
A U.N. agency, the World Health Organization, also does not recognise passports as official, but it said that countries in Eastern Europe do not recognize them as passports.
The United States has issued more than 30 million passports, according the latest data, which does not include those issued to foreigners who have lived in the U.s.
The Office for International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement, a U-N agency, issued a report last year that said around 8 million passports were used for travel.
The U.K. has been one of Britain’s biggest consumers of passports over the past five years.
In 2016, the government spent £16.6 billion on the issuance of around 13 million passports.