Society

Countries With Only One Neighbor

These countries are in the minority worldwide, as they share their borders with only one other neighbor.

There are at least seventeen sovereign countries globally that only share international border lines with one other country. Some of these countries are landlocked while others have a coastline. Due to the fragile nature of international socio-economic and political relations, these countries are protected by several international laws. On their own, they also tend to be politically neutral towards the political alignment of the neighboring state. These countries include Vatican City, the United Kingdom, Timor-Leste, South Korea, San Marino, Qatar, Monaco, Portugal, Papua New Guinea, The Gambia, Ireland, Haiti, Brunei, Canada, the Dominican Republic, and Denmark.

Countries That Only Border One Other Country

Canada

Canada forms the northern half of North America and only shares its land border with the United States. This border is the longest binational land border between countries in the world and was negotiated by several different treaties for over a century. Canada is the closest ally of the US and citizens in both countries enjoy many shared privileges. On the other hand, Canada has a long maritime border with Greenland and a short maritime border with the French Oversea Islands.

Vatican

The Vatican City State is an absolute monarchy, ecclesiastical and elective theocracy form of Government ruled by the Pope (Bishop of Rome). The Vatican is enclaved within Rome, Italy and is the smallest State in the World by land and population with Sovereignty being held by the Holy See. Vatican is the only State that enjoys good diplomatic relations with all the countries in the world.

Lesotho

The Kingdom of Lesotho is an independent landlocked country with a population of approximately 2 million people. It is totally enclaved by South Africa. Lesotho is economically integrated with South Africa, and its agricultural, livestock, manufacturing, mining, import and export industries largely depend on the South African Customs Union. Lesotho also largely relies on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) that has made the country become the largest garments exporter to the US from the Sub-Saharan Africa.

South Korea

The Republic of South Korea lies in East Asia to the southern part of the Korea Peninsula. South Korea shares a land border with North Korea along the Korean Demilitarized Zone. The two Koreas separated after the Korean War with the South becoming a democratic State and the North remaining a communist State. South Korea, however, shares maritime borders with both China and Japan.

Conventions

Countries that border only one other country and are landlocked are protected by the Convention on Transit Trade of Land-Locked States. The convention is a multilateral treaty that allows these countries to transport goods to and from seaports and use the airspaces of their neighbors. All landlocked and coastal states must ratify and domesticate this treaty as per the United Nations General Assembly agreement signed in 1965 and implemented in 1967. In the Convention, the coastal states (transit states) agree to make favorable agreements with land-locked states that wish to import and export goods through the transit state’s territory. The transit states do not discriminate the origin or destination of these goods, and the goods are protected by international laws while in transit. Landlocked states, on the other hand, are accountable for all expense incurred by the transit states during the good’s supervision and protection. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea gives enclaved countries a right of access to the sea without taxation through the transit state and with waivered sea tariffs.

Countries That Only Border One Other Country

RankCountry Name Bordering Country
1BruneiMalaysia
2CanadaUnited States
3DenmarkGermany
4Dominican RepublicHaiti
5The GambiaSenegal
6HaitiDominican Republic
7IrelandUnited Kingdom
8LesothoSouth Africa
9MonacoFrance
10Papua New GuineaIndonesia
11Portugal Spain
12QatarSaudi Arabia
13San MarinoItaly
14South KoreaNorth Korea
15Timor-LesteIndonesia
16United Kingdom Ireland
17Vatican CityItaly

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