Which Countries are Landlocked?

Article Details
  • Written By: L. S. Wynn
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 19 April 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The Duolingo app offers a course in High Valyrian, a fantasy language featured in the TV show "Game of Thrones."  more...

May 18 ,  1910 :  The Earth passed through the tail of Halley's Comet.  more...

According to the CIA World Factbook, there are 44 countries and other areas that are landlocked. In simplest terms, this means that the country is devoid of coastline. This status is critical for many nations because it prevents unfettered access to the open ocean which, in turn, allows for trade with most of the countries in the world. Goods produced in a country without access to open water, for example, must always be transported through another country before traveling to their destination.

The status of being landlocked does not appear to be just a superficial aspect of a country. For example, the average gross domestic product (GDP) per capita for the world is approximately $15,000 US Dollars (USD). Of the world's landlocked countries, only a few, such as Switzerland and Austria, have higher GDPs per capita than this average. The average of all landlocked countries is only about $13,000 USD, but this average is skewed by the inclusion of countries like Lichtenstein, which has a per capita GDP of $118,000 USD.

Two countries in the world are double landlocked, which means that they are surrounded only by other landlocked countries: Lichtenstein and Uzbekistan. The largest landlocked country is Kazakhstan, which is the ninth largest country in the world, covering just over 1 million square miles (2.65 million square kilometers).


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 30

Lesotho is landlocked and is surrounded entirely by only one other country - South Africa. Are there other such landlocked countries - that is countries whose entire border is with just one country?

Post 28

@anon939087: I saw your comment and looked on a map to make sure I knew what I was talking about. A landlocked country does not have a coastline. That means it does not have an ocean bordering it directly. You can eventually get to the ocean by traveling enough rivers, but there is no direct ocean access, like Italy has, for instance, or France. The Aral Sea is really a lake, so it doesn't count as coastline.

Missouri in the U.S. is a landlocked state. Just because the Mississippi River borders it and the Mississippi eventually empties into the Gulf of Mexico doesn't mean Missouri isn't landlocked.

So yes, according to the maps, Uzbekistan is landlocked.

Post 27

If Uzbekistan is bordered by the Aral sea, and the Aral sea is connected to the Black Sea, and the Black Sea is connected to the Mediterranean sea, then not only is Uzbekistan not double landlocked, it isn't even landlocked.

So those who say it is landlocked are simply wrong.

Post 26

South Sudan became a landlocked country in 2011.

Post 25
I think Central Asian landlocked countries are experiencing a lot of financial difficulty because of transit issues. That's why OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) is running a project to make transit easier through Asia.

Eventually, there is probably going to be a vast transit system from China, through Central Asia into Europe. Landlocked developing countries will be better off after that.

Post 24
@anamur-- I'm not sure, but that's a good question.

As far as I know, every country imposes a tariff on goods that enter its borders. So a landlocked country that has goods imported through another country would have to pay some kind of tariff or fee to that country unless they have a non-tariff agreement.

But I'm not sure if this makes trade more costly for landlocked countries than for countries that are not landlocked. That might be the case. Does anyone else have input on this?

Post 23

Does the fact that a landlocked country relies on neighboring countries to be able to import goods, make trade more expensive for them?

Post 22

why have you become so angry at the West Bank? Isn't it an individual territory that bears its own identity of thousands of years? Come on guys. Recognize us.

Post 21

it seems that if a country is bordered by an inland sea it can still be considered landlocked, as long as it does not have access to the major oceans or waterways.

In that case, isn't the term "landlocked" a misnomer? Semantically, landlocked should strictly be defined as locked in on all sides by land. Could someone please explain to me why that is not the case?

Post 20

At most previous comments: You must accept the facts of geography and the rules instituted by geographers and the international society. Countries that do not have a coastline on an ocean or on major waterway which has the size of a waterway of a strait or larger (not a river) as a connection to an ocean are landlocked, Vatican City is a country, and Tibet is a part of China. Please consider what you are saying and research it before jumping to conclusions

Post 18

Comment 14 (ag47) - you're missing something. Notice the editor's reply to the other people who asked the same thing.

Post 17

Regrettable the list includes "West Bank," which is not a country. Even more regrettable that the list omits Tibet.

Post 16

Regarding comment 5, which says in part:

"1) Lichtenstein as the world's only double land locked country.

2) Mongolia is the world's only landlocked country. "

If no. 2 is true, then there can't be any double land locked countries outside the borders of Mongolia. Lichtenstein is not inside Mongolia.

Post 14

The word landlocked means (or at least ought to mean) "locked in on all sides by land". How are countries like Kazakhstan which are surrounded at least for some parts of their borders by lakes or seas (it is irrelevant really if the lakes or seas themselves are inland) considered landlocked?

Or am I missing something here?

Post 13

which continent has larger coastline? either europe or africa? how?

Post 11

What do you mean by double landlocked? Is that like the ones which border the country don't have coastlines either?

Post 10

i'm thanking this website because it helped me in my project.

Post 7

Bolivia is not landlocked, it has a lake on the western border. Please change this it's inaccurate. Thank you.

Moderator's reply: Actually, Bolivia is landlocked, because it doesn't have a coastline that gives it access to the open ocean.

Post 6

How is Armenia considered a European country? Geographically speaking it's a bit overrated.

Post 5

The above says that Lichtenstein and Uzbekistan are the world's only double land locked countries and that Kazakhstan is the world's largest land locked country.

Does the Caspian Sea not count as a sea? If so, then Kazakhstan is not land locked and Uzbekistan is not double land locked. This would leave

1) Lichtenstein as the world's only double land locked country.

2) Mongolia is the world's only landlocked country.

Moderator's reply: That is a good question! A landlocked country is generally defined as a country that is entirely or nearly entirely surrounded by other countries. if it is bordered by a landlocked sea, such as the Caspian Sea, it is still considered landlocked, mostly because it is restricted from sea trade. one important thing to note is that the Caspian Sea is also often categorized as a lake, and countries bordering it thus still classed as landlocked.

Post 4

About the Western Bank: This list covers countries and areas. According to the World CIA Factbook, the source for this data, while the West Bank is not recognized as an independent country, it is generally referred to as an entity in some ways separate from Israel. The West Bank is therefore included in this list as a landlocked "area."

This list now shows 44 landlocked countries and areas. 42 of the names refer to recognized countries, while two, the West Bank and Vatican City, fall into the "area" category. The World CIA Factbook includes "a wide variety of dependencies, areas of special sovereignty, uninhabited islands, and other entities in addition to the traditional countries or independent states" to create this list of landlocked countries or areas.

Post 3

OK, so the CIA Factobook says 43 countries and areas. What does "areas" mean? The list on this site is only 41 countries. What are the other 2 areas?

Post 1

How can the western bank be called a country?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?