Landlocked Countries 2021

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A landlocked country is defined as entirely surrounded by land. Some of these nations may have coastlines, but these are only on closed seas. Rivers might run through a portion of the region, and there can be bodies of water within the country's borders, but every border is land-based, rather than water like an ocean shore. Of all the countries in the world, forty-nine of them are landlocked. This number is equivalent to one-fifth, or twenty percent, of all countries in the world.

As a landlocked country, these nations are actually at quite a disadvantage. While it might not seem unfortunate at first glance, landlocked countries are cut off from seaports and trading points that are often situated along the water. Since many trades happen by way of water transportation, landlocked countries cannot participate in as many trading opportunities as countries with access to major bodies of water.

Additionally, double landlocked countries are landlocked and surrounded by other landlocked countries. This means that residents of double landlocked countries need to cross two country's borders to reach a coastline. There are only two double landlocked countries: Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan.

Along with the lack of access to seaborne trade, landlocked countries also miss out on valuable resources, such as fishing, which contributes to the economy of many countries with water access. Without fishing as a major resource and income stream, landlocked countries have to turn to other prosperity sources. Many landlocked countries are abundant in agriculture and intra-continental commerce.

All of that said, some nations have overcome the challenges that landlocked borders create, and they have even become quite wealthy, too. Two landlocked countries that manage to sustain success despite their lack of water borders are Austria and Switzerland. Even so, Austria and Switzerland have advantages that make their flourishing economies possible. The most apparent advantage is its location.

As part of Europe, Austria and Switzerland are situated on one of the most affluent and well-developed continents globally. Most landlocked nations are landlocked developing countries. Most landlocked nations are less wealthy and less populated than coastal nations.

The largest landlocked country by area is Kazakhstan. The smallest by area is Vatican City. The largest landlocked country by population is Ethiopia, which has a population of over 101 million people. Vatican City is the smallest by population, with a total population of fewer than 1,000 people.

These landlocked nations make up over 11% of the world's total area and are home to nearly 7% of the world's total population. The 44 landlocked countries are listed in the table below.

The Borders that Make These Countries Landlocked

Every landlocked country's borders are shared with land from another country. Looking at the borders of each landlocked country helps make sense of their location on a map. Let's take a glimpse at each landlocked country and look at the countries surrounding each landlocked nation.

Afghanistan

Andorra

Armenia

Austria

Azerbaijan

Belarus

Bhutan

  • China
  • India

Bolivia

Botswana

Burkina Faso

Burundi

The Central African Republic

Chad

  • Cameroon
  • The Central African Republic
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Sudan

The Czech Republic

  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Slovakia

Ethiopia

Hungary

Kazakhstan

Kyrgyzstan

  • China
  • Kazakhstan
  • Tajikistan
  • Uzbekistan

Laos

Lesotho

Liechtenstein

  • Austria
  • Switzerland

Luxembourg

Macedonia

Malawi

Mali

Moldova

  • Romania
  • Ukraine

Mongolia

  • China
  • Kazakhstan
  • Russia

Nepal

  • China
  • India

Niger

Paraguay

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil

Rwanda

  • Burundi
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda

San Marino

  • Italy

Serbia

Slovakia

  • Austria
  • The Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Poland
  • Ukraine

South Sudan

  • The Central African Republic
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Sudan
  • Uganda

Swaziland

  • Mozambique
  • South Africa

Switzerland

  • Austria
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Liechtenstein

Tajikistan

  • Afghanistan
  • China
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Uzbekistan

Turkmenistan

  • Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • Kazakhstan
  • Uzbekistan

Uganda

  • The Congo
  • Kenya
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania

Uzbekistan

  • Afghanistan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan

Vatican City

  • Italy

Zambia

  • Republic of the Congo
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Tanzania
  • Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

  • Botswana
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Zambia

Landlocked Countries 2021

Rank Country 2021 Population
Ethiopia117,876,227
Uganda47,123,531
Afghanistan39,835,428
Uzbekistan33,935,763
Nepal29,674,920
Niger25,130,817
Burkina Faso21,497,096
Mali20,855,735
Malawi19,647,684
Kazakhstan18,994,962
Zambia18,920,651
Chad16,914,985
Zimbabwe15,092,171
Rwanda13,276,513
Burundi12,255,433
Bolivia11,832,940
South Sudan11,381,378
Czech Republic10,724,555
Azerbaijan10,223,342
Tajikistan9,749,627
Hungary9,634,164
Belarus9,442,862
Austria9,043,070
Switzerland8,715,494
Serbia8,697,550
Laos7,379,358
Paraguay7,219,638
Kyrgyzstan6,628,356
Turkmenistan6,117,924
Slovakia5,460,721
Central African Republic4,919,981
Moldova4,024,019
Mongolia3,329,289
Armenia2,968,127
Botswana2,397,241
Lesotho2,159,079
Eswatini1,172,362
Bhutan779,898
Luxembourg634,814
Andorra77,355
Liechtenstein38,250
San Marino34,017
Vatican City800

Landlocked Countries 2021