There are 21 states that are landlocked: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
If a state has been deemed landlocked, it does not have immediate access to the water within its borders. The exact definition of landlocked can vary slightly from person to person, but if a state is landlocked, it does not have access to the ocean. Even though a state might not be sitting on the ocean, and may still have access to the ocean through a lake in its vicinity. For example, the state of Illinois might be able to access the ocean because the Great Lakes are nearby. Someone could navigate the Great Lakes to the ocean. On the other hand, if a state only has a few large lakes or ponds within its borders, it is still considered landlocked. The state does not have access to the ocean through any of the waterways.
There are a number of reasons why it might be important for a state to be landlocked. In general, most places would rather have access to the water. Today, this issue is generally more important for tourism. A lot of people like to relax at the lake or on the coast of the beach. Historically, this reason has been more important for trade.
For the past 100 years, man has had access to the air; however, for most of our history, that was not the case. Therefore, one of the most efficient options for commerce was water. If a state has access to the water, it has an easier time trading with other people. Therefore, if a state is landlocked, it is not able to conduct trade as easily. This is a major issue for the economy, and it can have a significant impact on the standard of living of the people who live within its borders. Easy access to the water is still important for commerce, but there are other options for trade now.