At CulturalWorld, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
According to the CIA World Factbook, there are 44 countries and other areas that are landlocked. In simplest terms, this means that the country is devoid of coastline. This status is critical for many nations because it prevents unfettered access to the open ocean which, in turn, allows for trade with most of the countries in the world. Goods produced in a country without access to open water, for example, must always be transported through another country before traveling to their destination.
The status of being landlocked does not appear to be just a superficial aspect of a country. For example, the average gross domestic product (GDP) per capita for the world is approximately $15,000 US Dollars (USD). Of the world's landlocked countries, only a few, such as Switzerland and Austria, have higher GDPs per capita than this average. The average of all landlocked countries is only about $13,000 USD, but this average is skewed by the inclusion of countries like Lichtenstein, which has a per capita GDP of $118,000 USD.
Two countries in the world are double landlocked, which means that they are surrounded only by other landlocked countries: Lichtenstein and Uzbekistan. The largest landlocked country is Kazakhstan, which is the ninth largest country in the world, covering just over 1 million square miles (2.65 million square kilometers).
Africa includes a total of 15 landlocked countries; Asia has 12; Europe has 15; and South America has 2. Here is a list of all of them, organized by continent:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a landlocked country and how many are there in the world?
A landlocked country is one that is entirely surrounded by land, or whose coastlines lie on closed seas without access to the open ocean. As of the latest data, there are 44 landlocked countries worldwide. These countries often face unique economic challenges due to their lack of direct access to major sea routes, which can affect trade and development.
Which continent has the most landlocked countries?
Africa has the highest number of landlocked countries, with a total of 16. This includes nations such as Chad, Niger, and Mali. The landlocked nature of these countries can contribute to economic challenges, as they may have limited access to international trade routes and higher transportation costs for imports and exports.
Can you name some of the largest landlocked countries by area?
Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country by area, followed by Mongolia and Chad. Kazakhstan spans over 2.7 million square kilometers, making it the ninth-largest country in the world. Its vast size and significant natural resources, including oil and minerals, play a crucial role in its economy despite its landlocked status.
Are there any landlocked countries that were once not landlocked?
Yes, there are countries that have become landlocked due to historical events. For example, Bolivia lost its coastline to Chile during the War of the Pacific (1879-1884), rendering it landlocked. The loss of access to the sea has been a point of contention and negotiation between Bolivia and Chile for over a century.
What are some of the economic implications for a country being landlocked?
Being landlocked can have significant economic implications, including higher transportation and logistics costs, reliance on neighboring countries for port access, and potential political and economic instability if relations with bordering countries are strained. These factors can hinder trade, limit market access, and increase the cost of imports and exports, which can impact overall economic growth and development.