Landlocked: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Landlocked countries of the world according to The World Factbook.

A landlocked country is commonly defined as one enclosed or nearly enclosed by land.[1][2][3][4] As of 2008, there are 44 landlocked countries in the world. Of the major landmasses, only North America and Australia do not have a landlocked country inside their respective continents.

Many countries also have constricted access to the sea. If a country's only coastline is on a sea that is almost landlocked, such as the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea, this may allow ocean access to be easily blocked. This may be of strategic importance, with one or two other countries controlling the entrance, and/or be relevant to tides and freshwater content. Areas without a warm water port will be landlocked during the winter months.

An island country can conversely be considered waterlocked[5] as it is entirely surrounded by water. In such cases, one must cross water to reach land abroad.


History and significance

Historically, being landlocked was regarded as a disadvantageous position. It cuts the country off from sea resources such as fishing, but more importantly cuts off access to seaborne trade which, even today, makes up a large percentage of international trade. Coastal regions tended to be wealthier and more heavily populated than inland ones.

Countries thus have made particular efforts to avoid being landlocked:

Losing access to the sea is generally a great blow to a nation, politically, militarily, and particularly with respect to international trade and therefore economic security:

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea now gives a landlocked country a right of access to and from the sea without taxation of traffic through transit states. The United Nations has a programme of action to assist landlocked developing countries[6], and the current responsible Undersecretary-General is Anwarul Karim Chowdhury.

Some countries may have a long coastline, but much of it may not be readily usable for trade and commerce. For instance, in its early history, Russia's only ports were on the Arctic Ocean and frozen shut for much of the year. The wish to gain control of a warm water port was a major motivator of Russian expansion towards the Baltic Sea, Black Sea and Pacific Ocean. On the other hand, some landlocked countries can have access to the ocean along wide navigable rivers. For instance, Paraguay (and Bolivia to a lesser extent) have access to the ocean by the Paraguay and Parana rivers.

Several countries have coastlines on landlocked seas, such as the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea. Since these seas are in effect lakes, and do not allow access to seaborne trade, countries such as Kazakhstan are still considered to be landlocked. (The Caspian Sea, however, is connected to the Black Sea via a man-made canal between the Volga and Don rivers.)

List of landlocked countries

Has a coast on the saltwater Caspian Sea
Has a coast on the saltwater Aral Sea
° Disputed region with limited international recognition
¤ Completely landlocked by exactly one country

They can be grouped in contiguous groups as follows:

If it were not for the 40 km of coastline at Muanda, DR Congo would join all three African clusters into one, making them the biggest contiguous group in the world.

There are the following 'single' landlocked countries (each of them borders no other landlocked country):

If Armenia and Azerbaijan are counted as part of Europe, then Europe has the most landlocked countries, at 17. Kazakhstan is also sometimes regarded as a transcontinental country, so if that is included, the count for Europe goes up to 18. If these countries are included in Asia, then Africa has the most, at 15. Depending on the status of the three transcontinental countries, Asia has between 9 and 12, while South America has only 2. North America and Oceania are the only continents with no landlocked countries. (Oceania is also notable for having almost no land borders.)


Doubly landlocked country

A landlocked country surrounded only by other landlocked countries may be called a "doubly landlocked" country. A person in such a country has to cross at least two borders to reach a coastline.

There are currently two such countries in the world:

Uzbekistan has borders with Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan that border the landlocked but saltwater Caspian Sea, from which ships can reach the Sea of Azov by using the man-made Volga-Don Canal, and thence the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the oceans.

There was no doubly landlocked country in the world from the 1871 Unification of Germany until the end of World War I. This is because Uzbekistan was part of the Russian Empire; while Liechtenstein bordered Austria-Hungary, which had an Adriatic coast until 1918. Nor was there one from 1938 until the end of World War II, as Nazi Germany had incorporated Austria and Uzbekistan was in the USSR.

Landlocked by a single country

There are only three countries that are landlocked by a single country – that is they are surrounded on all sides by just one country. Such a country is also called an enclave.

The three countries are:

Nearly landlocked

The following countries are almost landlocked, because of their relatively short coastline:

See also


Simple English

Landlocked countries of the world.

People say a country is landlocked if it does not have access to any oceans or seas. As an example, Austria is landlocked. France is not landlocked because it has access to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean. A sea is also landlocked if does not have access to an ocean. As an example, the Caspian Sea is landlocked. The Gulf of Mexico is not landlocked because it has access to the Atlantic Ocean.


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