A landlocked country is one which has no borders along an open ocean. In other words, a landlocked country is completely surrounded by land, which is a disadvantage in terms of trade and political relationships. Forty-four autonomous nations and an additional five disputed nations are considered landlocked. This article highlights the five smallest landlocked countries in the world as defined by land area.
Smallest Landlocked Countries
Vatican City is the smallest landlocked country in the world, with a total area of only 0.17 square miles. The Vatican is also home to a small population of approximately 1,000 individuals. The city-state is located entirely within Italy, where it serves as the administrative seat for the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Additionally, it is the church's administrative hub. Although it covers only a very small area, the autonomous nation receives a significant number of tourists every year due to its religious significance.
San Marino is the second smallest landlocked country in the world, distributed over a total area of only 23.6 square miles. A population of approximately 33,562 individuals live within this area. Since the nation contains more than just one city, it is categorized as a microstate. The entire area of San Marino, like Vatican City, sits within Italy. At one time, the economy of San Marino was based on stone extraction. Today, however, the tourism industry has become an important contributor to the San Marino's gross domestic product (GDP).
Liechtenstein is the third smallest landlocked country in the world. The country has a total area size of 62 square miles, which classifies it as a microstate, and has a population of 37,340 individuals. Liechtenstein is a central European country and unlike the previously mentioned countries, it does not sit entirely within another nation. Instead, Liechtenstein shares its borders with both Austria and Switzerland. Interestingly, Austria is also considered a landlocked country, which means that some individuals consider Liechtenstein to be a "doubly landlocked" region.
Andorra is the fourth smallest landlocked country in the world and has a total area size of 180.55 miles. This measurement means that Andorra is classified as a microstate. The small nation has a population of about 77,281 individuals. The majority of Andorra is covered in mountainous terrain, given its location in the Pyrenees Mountains. It shares borders with Catalonia (Spain) to the south and France to the north. Andorra is known as a popular vacation spot with skiers in Europe.
Luxembourg is the fifth smallest landlocked country in the world, covering a total area of 998.6 square miles. Additionally, the country is home to over 590,000 individuals. Luxembourg is recognized as an important economic center in Europe and its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the official capital of the European Union. The nation is landlocked by Germany, Belgium, and France. It has also been distinguished as the second richest country in the world.
About the Author
Amber is a freelance writer, English as a foreign language teacher, and Spanish-English translator. She lives with her husband and 3 cats.
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