The Five Smallest Landlocked Countries

St. Peter's Square in the Vatican City. Image credit: S.Borisov/Shutterstock
  • The Vatican City is the smallest landlocked country in the world.
  • The top five smallest landlocked countries can all be found in Europe.
  • Both the Vatican City and San Marino are located within Italy's borders.

A landlocked country is one that has no borders along an open ocean or an endorheic basin. In other words, a landlocked country is completely surrounded by land, which is a disadvantage in terms of trade and political relationships. 44 autonomous nations and an additional five disputed nations are considered landlocked. This article highlights the five smallest landlocked countries in the world.

Smallest Landlocked Countries

1. Vatican City, 0 km2

Map of the Vatican City.

The Vatican City is the smallest landlocked country in the world, with a total area of less than 1 km2 (0.17 miles2). The Vatican is also home to a small population of approximately 800 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.

2. San Marino, 60 km2

Map of San Marino.

San Marino is the second-smallest landlocked country in the world, distributed over a total area of only 60 km2 (23.6 miles2). A population of approximately 33,930 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 the 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 San Marino's gross domestic product (GDP).

3. Liechtenstein, 160 km2

Map of Liechtenstein. 

Liechtenstein is the third-smallest landlocked country in the world. The country has a total area size of (62 miles2), which classifies it as a microstate, and has a population of about 38,130 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.

4. Andorra, 470 km2

Map of Andorra.

Andorra is the fourth-smallest landlocked country in the world and has a total area size of 470 km2 (180.55 miles2 ). This measurement means that Andorra is classified as a microstate. The small nation has a population of about 77,265 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.

5. Luxembourg, 2,590 km2

Map of Luxembourg.

Luxembourg is the fifth-smallest landlocked country in the world, covering a total area of 2,590 km2 (998.6 miles2). Additionally, the country is home to about 626,000 individuals. Luxembourg is recognized as an important economic center in Europe and its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the official capitals 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.

The Five Smallest Landlocked Countries

RankCountryLand Area (Km2)
1Vatican City<1
2San Marino60
6Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)17,200
8North Macedonia25,220

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