Countries With The Most Maritime Neighbors

The English Channel separates the UK from neighboring France.
The English Channel separates the UK from neighboring France.

Maritime boundaries are the conceptual divisions of the world’s water surface using geopolitical or physiographic criteria. These boundaries include borders of exclusive economic zones, contiguous zones and territorial waters. Maritime boundaries exclude all the rivers and lakes borders, and the Law of the Sea Treaty recognizes them. The Law of the Sea treaty defines the responsibilities and rights of countries with respect to the usage of earth’s oceans, and it established guidelines for the environment and businesses of the maritime natural resources. The boundaries help identify the borders of all the international waters.

Top 3 Countries With The Most Maritine Neighbors


The French Republic is a sovereign nation whose territory is made up of metropolitan France and numerous overseas territories and regions. The French metropolitan stretches from Atlantic Ocean to the Rhine and from North Sea and English Channel to the Mediterranean Sea. It has five maritime neighbors which include the United Kingdom, Spain, Monaco, Italy, and Belgium. The French Republic has a total of thirty maritime borders. Some of these territories include French Polynesia, Mayotte, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, and Martinique among others. The people living in the regions are French nationalities, and they have a right to vote in the French general elections. Even though Monaco gained its sovereignty under the Franco-Monegasque Treaty, France is still responsible for its defenses. French Guiana is the only part of a European nation still in America.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a sovereign nation in Western Europe. The United Kingdom includes the north-eastern parts of Ireland, Great Britain Island, and other smaller islands. The only part of the United Kingdom which shares a land border in Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom has seven maritime neighbors which include Norway, Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, France, Denmark and Belgium. The United Kingdom has fourteen overseas territories which have voted to be part of the British Empire or have not yet gained their independence. Together with all their territories, the United Kingdom has twenty five Maritime neighbors. These territories are not part of England and other than Gibraltar; they are not members of the European Union. They are self governing with England being responsible for their foreign relations and defense.

United States

The United States is a sovereign nation composed of fifty states, and five self-governing territories among other possessions. It is the third largest by size in the world. The United States has a total of five maritime neighbors which includes Russia, Mexico, Cuba, Canada, and Bahamas. The United States has numerous self-governing territories which are neither part of any state or the Federal district. The United States Constitution grants the country a right to oversee multiple territories and currently they have fourteen regions all referred to as the insular area. The United States and the insular area have a total of eighteen maritime territories.

Maritime Boundary Disputes

In the over 512 maritime boundaries in the world, only half of them have been agreed upon, which leaves room for discussions over the other borders in the future. These disputes occur over security, economic, and commercial reasons. These disputes were catastrophic in the past but with the formation of the Law of the Sea treaty under the United Nations has helped settle these disputes. Agreeing and setting the maritime borders is not easy and it involves the use of politics, diplomacy, history, law, technology, geology and technology. The law of the sea gives countries the right to claim the natural resources rights. These rights are crucial for telecommunications, fishing, mining, and energy industries. Some of the regions with overlapping claims include the Arctic Archipelago, the eastern Mediterranean, and the South China Seas.

Countries With The Most Maritime Neighbors

RankCountryMaritime Neighbors
2United Kingdom25
3United States18
10Saudi Arabia10

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