landlocked countries

landlocked countries

In this general knowledge series article, I tried to discuss landlocked countries in various aspects.

Definition of landlocked Country

A country is considered landlocked when it enclosed by other country/countries or only have the coastline with close seas (a sea that is enclosed by land). There are 44 independent landlocked countries in the word in four different continents. Below I have shared some details regarding them.

Doubly Landlocked Countries

  • A landlocked country that is completely enclosed by other countries is called doubly landlocked country.
  • The only two doubly landlocked countries are Uzbekistan and Liechtenstein.

Largest Land Locked Countries

Smallest Landlocked Country

The smallest landlocked country is Vatican City.

Most Populous Landlocked Country

The most populous landlocked country is Ethiopia.

Latest landlocked Country

South Sudan after its freedom from Sudan in 2011 is now the latest landlocked country.

Landlocked by most Countries

Landlocked countries that are landlocked by most countries are Zambia, Austria and Serbia all of these are neighbored with 8 countries.

Contiguous Landlocked Countries

Most numbers of contiguous landlocked countries are ten in central Africa these are  Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Burundi and Rwanda

Continent with no Landlocked Countries

Three continents North America, Australia (Oceania) and Antarctica contain no landlocked country

Countries encircled by other countries

There are three landlocked countries that are completely circumscribed within another country these are Lesotho, San Marino and the Vatican

Italy is the only country that encircled two landlocked countries in itself these encircled countries are San Marino and the Vatican

Land Locked Countries in Africa (16)

Botswana, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Lesotho,  Malawi, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, South Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Land Locked Countries in Europe (14)

Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Vatican City.

Land Locked Countries in Asia (12)

Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Laos, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Land Locked Countries in South America (2)

Bolivia and Paraguay

Bolivia was not initially a landlocked country, it has a small coastal strip to the Pacific Ocean, it lost its coastal strip to Chile in the war of Pacific (1879-1883). Its state emblem still shows the lost coastal strip as its region.

Note: the Caucasian countries (Armenia and Azerbaijan in above segregation are considered Asian) also though Kazakhstan is transcontinental as most of its part in Asia so I take it in Asia

Not fully recognized landlocked Countries

Following are landlocked countries that are not fully recognized nor the member of UN as well

  • Transnistria (Moldova self-independent area)
  • South Ossetia (Georgia self-independent area)
  • Kosovo (self-independent area of Serbia)
  • Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Azerbaijan self-independent area)

Landlocked Countries with Access to Sea

Some landlocked countries have access to sea or ocean through the navigable river or canals like Paraguay, Bolivia and Laos etc. Similarly, some landlocked countries have the navy as well, operated in their navigable water routes or any landlocked sea they border.

Some people consider west bank (Palestine part) as landlocked country but on the basis of another part of Palestine that is Gaza Strip (which has coastline to the Mediterranean Sea), Palestine is not a landlocked country

Landlocked Countries with Inland Sea Coastline

Some landlocked countries though not have access to the ocean or open sea, but have the coastline with the landlocked sea like Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have the coastline to world largest landlocked sea Caspian Sea.

Limitations of being landlocked

  • Military limitations due to less or no naval force.
  • More dependent on neighbors for access to world trade and natural resources
  • High transportation and transit cost as no direct sea access
  • Lesser, expensive or no access to seafood

Stay tuned.


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