Landlocked Countries Of The World

A landlocked country is a country that does not border any of the World Oceans or whose nearest coastline lies in another country. However, a landlocked country may have a coastline on an endorheic basin or borders a large water body such as a lake or swamp. Thus, a country is considered landlocked if one or more countries surround it and has no immediate access to open water. Currently, there are 44 landlocked countries in the world. The countries are spread across all the continents except Oceania and North America.

Some of these countries are singly landlocked, while others are double landlocked. A singly landlocked country is a country surrounded by just one country. Only three countries are singly landlocked; San Marino and Vatican City (surrounded by Italy) and Lesotho (surrounded by South Africa). Singly landlocked countries are often referred to as enclaves. In a double landlocked country, the residents have to cross at least two international borders before they can access a coastline. The world’s two doubly-landlocked countries are Uzbekistan and Liechtenstein.

Contents:

Map Of The Landlocked Countries Of The World 

Landlocked countries of the world
Landlocked countries of the world map.

Landlocked Countries By Area

Rank

Country

Area (km2)

1

Kazakhstan

2,724,900

2

Mongolia

1,564,116

3

Chad

1,284,000

4

Niger

1,267,000

5

Mali

1,240,192

6

Ethiopia

1,104,300

7

Bolivia

1,098,581

8

Zambia

752,618

9

Afghanistan

652,230

10

South Sudan

644,329

11

Central African Republic

622,984

12

Botswana

581,730

13

Turkmenistan

488,100

14

Uzbekistan

447,400

15

Paraguay

406,752

16

Zimbabwe

390,757

17

Burkina Faso

274,200

18

Uganda

241,038

19

Laos

236,800

20

Belarus

207,600

21

Kyrgyzstan

191,951

22

Nepal

147,181

23

Tajikistan

144,100

24

Malawi

118,484

25

Hungary

93,028

26

Azerbaijan

86,600

27

Austria

83,871

28

Czech Republic

78,867

29

Serbia

77,474

30

Slovakia

49,035

31

Switzerland

41,277

32

Bhutan

38,394

33

Moldova

33,851

34

Lesotho

30,355

35

Armenia

29,743

36

Burundi

27,830

37

Rwanda

26,338

38

North Macedonia

25,713

39

Eswatini

17,364

40

Luxembourg

2,586

41

Andorra

468

42

Liechtenstein

160

43

San Marino

61

44

Vatican City

0.44

Source: United Nations Statistics 

Largest Landlocked Country By Area - Kazakhstan

Astana Kazakhstan
Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. Although landlocked, Kazakhstan accounts for about 60% of the GDP of Central Asia.

Kazakhstan, one of the 12 landlocked countries of Asia, is the largest landlocked country in the world by area. It covers an estimated land area of 2.7 million km2, making it the world’s 9th largest country by size. Kazakhstan is a transcontinental country, meaning that it stretches over more than one continent. Although it is located in Central Asia, a smaller portion extends into Europe. The Asian country is surrounded by five countries, including Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan to the south, China to the east, and Russia to the north. It has a coastline on the Caspian Sea, extending from the sea’s mid-east to mid-north.

Although Kazakhstan is a landlocked country, it is Central Asia’s most economically dominant country, accounting for about 60% of the region's GDP. It has thriving oil and gas industries, and vast mineral resources. Kazakhstan is home to 18.7 million people, making it the 6th largest landlocked country by population.

Smallest Landlocked Country By Area - Vatican City

Vatican City is the smallest landlocked country by area. The city-state is an enclave within Rome. It is one of the three singly landlocked countries (others are Lesotho and San Marino), surrounded by Italy. The Vatican City is located within the Vatican Hill territory and covers approximately 0.44 km2.

Landlocked Countries By Population

Rank

Country

Population

1

Ethiopia

112,078,730

2

Uganda

44,269,590

3

Afghanistan

38,041,750

4

Uzbekistan

33,580,650

5

Nepal

28,608,710

6

Niger

23,310,720

7

Burkina Faso

20,321,380

8

Mali

19,658,030

9

Malawi

18,628,750

10

Kazakhstan

18,513,930

11

 Zambia

17,861,030

12

Chad

15,946,880

13

Zimbabwe

14,645,470

14

Rwanda

12,626,950

15

Burundi

11,530,580

16

Bolivia

11,513,100

17

South Sudan

11,062,110

18

Czech Republic

10,669,710

19

Azerbaijan

10,023,320

20

Hungary

9,769,950

21

 Belarus

9,466,860

22

Tajikistan

9,321,020

23

Austria

8,877,070

24

Switzerland

8,574,830

25

Laos

7,169,450

26

Paraguay

7,044,640

27

Serbia

6,944,980

28

Kyrgyzstan

6,456,900

29

Turkmenistan

5,942,090

30

Slovakia

5,454,070

31

Central African Republic

4,745,190

32

Mongolia

3,225,170

33

Armenia

2,957,730

34

Moldova

2,657,640

35

Botswana

2,303,700

36

Lesotho

2,125,270

37

North Macedonia

2,083,460

38

Eswatini

1,148,130

39

Bhutan

763,090

40

Luxembourg

619,900

41

Andorra

77,140

42

Liechtenstein

38,020

43

San Marino

33,860

44

Vatican City

825

Largest Landlocked Country By Population - Ethiopia

A busy street scene in Ethiopia, the most populous landlocked country in the world.

Ethiopia, one of the 16 landlocked countries of Africa, is the world’s largest landlocked country by population. It is home to about 112 million people, making it Africa’s second-most populous country and the world’s 13th largest by population. Ethiopia is the world’s 28th largest country and the 6th largest landlocked country by area, covering approximately 1.1 million km2. It has a population density of 92.7 people per km2, making it the world’s 123rd most densely populated country.

Ethiopia is located mainly in the Horn of Africa and shares a land border with several other Eastern Africa countries. It is bordered to the north by Eritrea, northeast by Somaliland and Djibouti, east by Somali, south by Kenya, west by South Sudan, and northwest by Sudan.

Smallest Landlocked Country By Population - Vatican City

Vatican City is not only the smallest landlocked country by size but also by population. The Vatican has a population of about 800 people, including Vatican citizens and residents. The citizens are approximately 370 and reside within the country and elsewhere, including diplomats to other countries. The population comprises mainly the clergy, religious members, and laypeople, including Swiss Guards. All residents and people working at the Vatican are Catholics. It is also one of the most densely populated countries in Europe and the World.

Landlocked Countries By GDP Per Capita

Rank

Country

GDP per capita (USD)

1

Liechtenstein

181,402.8

2

Luxembourg

114,704.6

3

Switzerland

81,993.7

4

 Austria

50,137.7

5

 San Marino

48,995.1

6

Andorra

40,886.4

7

Czech Republic

23,494.6

8

Slovakia

19,266.3

9

Hungary

16,731.8

10

Kazakhstan

9,812.4

11

Botswana

7,961.3

12

Serbia

7,411.8

13

Turkmenistan

6,966.6

14

Belarus

6,663.3

15

North Macedonia

6,022.2

16

Paraguay

5,414.8

17

Azerbaijan

4,793.6

18

Armenia

4,622.7

19

Moldova

4,503.5

20

Mongolia

4,339.8

21

Eswatini

3,894.7

22

Bolivia

3,552.1

23

Bhutan

3,316.2

24

Laos

2,534.9

25

Uzbekistan

1,724.8

26

Zimbabwe

1,464

27

Kyrgyzstan

1,309.4

28

Zambia

1,305.1

29

South Sudan

1,119.7

30

Lesotho

1,118.1

31

Nepal

1,071.1

32

Mali

879

33

Tajikistan

870.8

34

Ethiopia

855.8

35

Rwanda

820

36

Uganda

794.3

37

Burkina Faso

786.9

38

Chad

709.5

39

Niger

553.9

40

Afghanistan

507.1

41

Central African Republic

467.9

42

Malawi

411.6

43

Burundi

261.2

44

Vatican City

Not Available

Landlocked Country With The Highest GDP Per Capita - Liechtenstein 

Liechtenstein
A village scene in Liechtenstein, the wealthiest landlocked country in the world.

Although Liechtenstein is the third smallest landlocked country by size (after Vatican City and San Marino), it is the world’s largest landlocked country by GDP per capita. With a per capita GDP of $181,402.8, the double-landlocked Central European state is one of the world’s wealthiest nations. Liechtenstein has an area of about 160 km2 and an estimated population of 36,000. It is bordered to the north and east by Austria and to the south and west by Switzerland. Switzerland and Austria are the second and third largest landlocked countries by GDP per capita.

Liechtenstein is one of the countries with the fewest natural resources. However, it has more registered companies than its population. It is a highly industrialized economy, supported by a thriving financial sector. Major industries include metal manufacturing, textile, food processing, pharmaceuticals, and power tools. Besides the financial sector, tourism also contributes significantly to the country’s GDP.

Landlocked Country With The Lowest GDP Per Capita - Burundi

Women and children along a lake shore in Burundi. Often children are forced to work from a young age due to the high rates of poverty prevailing in the country.

Burundi is the world’s poorest landlocked country, with a GDP per capita of $261.2. The landlocked country is located in the Great Rift Valley where East Africa meets the African Great Lake Region. Burundi is bound by three countries, one of which is also a landlocked country. Its direct access to the South Atlantic Ocean is blocked by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while Tanzania blocks its direct access to the Indian Ocean. Rwanda, a landlocked country, borders Burundi to the north. Lake Tanganyika, on the southwestern border, is the main water body that Burundi has access to. The landlocked country covers about 27,834 km2 and has an estimated population of 10.6 million people.

Burundi has few natural resources and underdeveloped industries. Agriculture is the chief income source, accounting for about 50% of the GDP and over 90% of the total workforce. It is mainly subsistence, with main imports including tea and coffee. Burundi is dependent on foreign aid, which accounts for about 42% of its national income. Corruption and civil unrest are also hindering economic development.

General Issues Faced By Landlocked Countries

General issues and challenges faced by landlocked countries are mainly economic and political. An ocean or sea is an important economic driver for any country because it supports several industries, including fishing, tourism, and transportation. Historically, nations have sought to have access to oceans or seas at all expense, including bloodshed.

Landlocked countries do not have direct access to trade routes, hindering their freedom of trade. These landlocked countries depend on other countries to access and use the maritime ports. Therefore, they incur a higher cost to ship cargo as compared to countries with access to open water bodies. The ripple effect is that consumers ultimately bear the burden by paying more for the shipped goods. For instance, food items in landlocked countries cost three times as much as in coastal countries.

Politically, a landlocked country must be in good relations with coastal countries at all times. Any form of diplomatic row or poor relations can have a significant impact on the landlocked country. A coastal country can block a landlocked country from accessing the maritime port, frustrating its import and export activities.

Political stability or otherwise in coastal countries also has a direct impact on landlocked countries. If a coastal country is experiencing any political instability, the landlocked country will also feel the effect of the instability. Any armed conflict may lead to the destruction of goods on transit and transportation network. For example, the 2007/2008 post-election violence in Kenya affected the delivery of goods to Uganda, resulting in a partial food shortage in the country. 

Complete List Of Landlocked Countries Of The World

Country

Continent

Surrounding countries

Afghanistan Asia 6 - China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Andorra Europe 2 - France, Spain
Armenia Asia 4 - Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Turkey
Austria Europe 8 - Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland
Azerbaijan Asia 5 - Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Russia, Turkey
Belarus Europe 5 - Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine
Bhutan Asia 2 - China, India
Bolivia Americas 5 - Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru
Botswana Africa 4 - Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Burkina Faso Africa 6 - Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Togo
Burundi Africa 3 - Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania
Central African Republic Africa 6 - Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Sudan
Chad Africa 6 - Cameroon, Central African Republic, Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan
Czech Republic Europe 4 - Austria, Germany, Poland, Slovakia
Eswatini Africa 2 - Mozambique, South Africa
Ethiopia Africa 6 - Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan
Hungary Europe 7 - Austria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine
Kazakhstan Asia 5 - China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Kyrgyzstan Asia 4 - China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
Laos Asia 5 - Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam
Lesotho Africa 1 - South Africa
Liechtenstein Europe 2 - Austria, Switzerland
Luxembourg Europe 3 - Belgium, France, Germany
Malawi Africa 3 - Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia
Mali Africa 7 - Algeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal
Moldova Europe 2 - Romania, Ukraine
Mongolia Asia 2 - China, Russia
Nepal Asia 2 - China, India
Niger Africa 7 - Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Libya, Mali, Nigeria
North Macedonia Europe 5 - Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, Serbia
Paraguay Americas 3 - Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil
Rwanda Africa 4 - Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Uganda
San Marino Europe 1 - Italy
Serbia Europe 8 - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria,Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania
Slovakia Europe 5 - Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine
South Sudan Africa 6 - Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda
Switzerland Europe 5 - Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein
Tajikistan Asia 4 - Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan
Turkmenistan Asia 4 - Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan
Uganda Africa 5 - Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania
Uzbekistan Asia 5 - Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan
Vatican City Europe 1 - Italy
Zambia Africa 8 - Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Africa 4 - Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia
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