CountriesGeographical Insights

Which Countries Are Landlocked?

Landlocked countries, totalling 49 globally, are unique in the international community. Defined as nations entirely surrounded by land, they face distinctive challenges and opportunities in a world where access to the sea is often equated with economic prosperity​​.

The List of Landlocked Countries

In 2023, the world has 49 landlocked countries. This represents one-fifth of all nations with distinct geographical and political contexts. The list includes:

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

 

Two countries are doubly landlocked (surrounded entirely by landlocked countries), a rare geographical feature in Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan​​.

Landlocked Countries by Continent

Continent Number of Landlocked Countries Countries
Africa 16 Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Malawi, Burundi, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho
Europe 16 Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Moldova, North Macedonia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Vatican City
Asia 12 Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Nepal, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Bhutan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Afghanistan
South America 2 Bolivia, Paraguay

 

Landlocked Countries by Degree

Landlocked by a Single Country

These countries are entirely enclosed within another country, creating unique geopolitical and economic relationships.

  1. Lesotho: Completely surrounded by South Africa. Lesotho’s unique position means it relies heavily on South Africa for access to the global market​​.
  2. San Marino: Enclaved within Italy. As one of the world’s smallest countries, its economy and transport are closely tied to Italy​​.
  3. Vatican City: Encircled by Rome, Italy. This unique city-state, also the smallest independent state in the world, is entirely surrounded by the Italian capital​​.

Landlocked by Two Countries

These countries are bordered by precisely two nations, often leading to close ties with both neighbours.

  1. Andorra: Nestled between France and Spain, Andorra’s economy is heavily influenced by these larger neighbours, especially in tourism and trade​​.
  2. Bhutan: Sandwiched between China and India, Bhutan’s strategic location significantly impacts its foreign policy and trade relations​​.
  3. Eswatini (Swaziland): Located between Mozambique and South Africa, Eswatini’s economic activities are deeply interconnected with these neighbouring countries​​.
  4. Liechtenstein: Positioned between Austria and Switzerland. It’s also doubly landlocked, adding another layer of reliance on its neighbours for access to global markets​​.
  5. Moldova: Bordered by Romania and Ukraine. Moldova’s political and economic landscape is shaped by its relationships with these two countries​​.
  6. Mongolia: Lies between China and Russia. Mongolia’s vast landmass and location influence its economic and diplomatic endeavours​​.
  7. Nepal: Situated between China and India. Its powerful neighbours significantly influence Nepal’s trade, tourism, and overall development​​.

These categories help us understand the varying degrees of isolation and dependence that landlocked countries experience, impacting their international relations, economic development, and strategic considerations.

What Did We Learn Today? 

Being landlocked poses unique challenges but also opportunities for innovation and regional cooperation. By understanding these countries’ specific needs and challenges, international efforts can better support their integration into the global economy and help mitigate the disadvantages of their geographical locations.

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