Landlocked country

landlocked state or landlocked country is a sovereign state entirely enclosed by land, or whose only coastlines lie on closed seas. There are currently 49 such countries, including five partially recognised states. Only two, Bolivia and Paraguay in South America, lie outside Afro-Eurasia (the Old World).
As a rule, being landlocked creates political and economic handicaps that access to the high seas avoids. For this reason, states large and small across history have striven to gain access to open waters, even at great expense in wealth, bloodshed, and political capital.
The economic disadvantages of being landlocked can be alleviated or aggravated depending on the degree of development, language barriers, and other considerations. Some landlocked countries are quite affluent, such as SwitzerlandLiechtensteinLuxembourg, and Austria, all of which frequently employ neutrality to their political advantage. The majority, however, are classified as Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs). Nine of the twelve countries with the lowest Human Development Indices (HDI) are landlocked.

Significance

Historically, being landlocked has been disadvantageous to a country’s development. It cuts a nation off from important sea resources such as fishing and impedes or prevents direct access to seaborne trade, a crucial component of economic and social advance. As such, coastal regions tended to be wealthier and more heavily populated than inland ones. Paul Collier in his book The Bottom Billion argues that being landlocked in a poor geographic neighbourhood is one of four major development “traps” by which a country can be held back. In general, he found that when a neighbouring country experiences better growth, it tends to spill over into favourable development for the country itself. For landlocked countries, the effect is particularly strong, as they are limited in their trading activity with the rest of the world. He states, “If you are coastal, you serve the world; if you are landlocked, you serve your neighbours.” Others have argued that being landlocked may actually be a blessing as it creates a “natural tariff barrier” which protects the country from cheap imports. In some instances, this has led to more robust local food systems.
Landlocked developing countries have significantly higher costs of international cargo transportation compared to coastal developing countries (in Asia the ratio is 3:1).

CountryArea(km2)PopulationClusterSurrounding countriesCount
Lesotho30,3552,067,000(none)South Africa1
San Marino[d]6131,716(none)Italy1
Vatican City0.44826(none)Italy1
Andorra46884,082(none)FranceSpain2
Bhutan38,394691,141(none)IndiaChina2
Liechtenstein16035,789Central EuropeSwitzerlandAustria2
Moldova33,8463,559,500(Eastern Europe)RomaniaUkraine2
Mongolia1,566,5002,892,876(none)ChinaRussia2
Nepal147,18126,494,504(none)ChinaIndia2
South Ossetia3,90072,000(none)GeorgiaRussia2
Swaziland17,3641,185,000(none)MozambiqueSouth Africa2
Transnistria4,163505,153(Eastern Europe)MoldovaUkraine2
West Bank5,6552,862,485(none)IsraelJordan2
Artsakh11,458146,600CaucasiaArmeniaAzerbaijanIran3
Burundi27,83410,557,259Central AfricaRwandaTanzaniaDemocratic Republic of the Congo3
Luxembourg2,586502,202(none)BelgiumGermanyFrance3
Malawi118,48415,028,757Southern AfricaZambiaTanzaniaMozambique3
Paraguay406,7526,349,000South AmericaArgentinaBrazilBolivia3
Armenia29,7433,254,300CaucasiaIranTurkeyGeorgiaAzerbaijan4
Botswana582,0001,990,876Southern AfricaNamibiaZambiaZimbabweSouth Africa4
Czech Republic78,86710,674,947Central EuropeAustriaGermanyPolandSlovakia4
Kosovo10,9081,804,838Central EuropeAlbaniaMacedoniaMontenegroSerbia4
Kyrgyzstan199,9515,482,000Central AsiaChinaKazakhstanTajikistanUzbekistan4
Rwanda26,33810,746,311Central AfricaUgandaTanzaniaBurundiDemocratic Republic of the Congo4
Tajikistan143,1007,349,145Central AsiaAfghanistanUzbekistanKyrgyzstanChina4
Turkmenistan488,1005,110,000Central AsiaKazakhstanUzbekistanAfghanistanIran4
Zimbabwe390,75712,521,000Southern AfricaSouth AfricaBotswanaZambiaMozambique4
Azerbaijan[a][e]86,6008,997,401CaucasiaRussiaGeorgiaArmeniaIranTurkey5
Belarus207,6009,484,300(none)PolandLithuaniaRussiaUkraineLatvia5
Bolivia1,098,58110,907,778South AmericaPeruBrazilChileArgentinaParaguay5
Kazakhstan[a]2,724,90016,372,000Central AsiaChinaKyrgyzstanRussiaTurkmenistanUzbekistan5
Laos236,8006,320,000(none)MyanmarChinaVietnamCambodiaThailand5
Macedonia25,7132,114,550Central EuropeKosovoSerbiaBulgariaGreeceAlbania5
Slovakia49,0355,429,763Central EuropeAustriaCzech RepublicPolandUkraineHungary5
Switzerland41,2848,401,120Central EuropeFranceGermanyLiechtensteinAustriaItaly5
Uganda241,03840,322,768Central AfricaKenyaSouth SudanDemocratic Republic of the CongoRwandaTanzania5
Uzbekistan449,10032,606,007Central AsiaKazakhstanTajikistanKyrgyzstanAfghanistanTurkmenistan5
Afghanistan652,23033,369,945Central AsiaIranTurkmenistanUzbekistanTajikistanChinaPakistan6
Burkina Faso274,22215,746,232Central AfricaMaliNigerBeninTogoGhanaIvory Coast/Côte d’Ivoire6
Central African Republic622,9844,422,000Central AfricaChadCameroonCongoDemocratic Republic of the CongoSudanSouth Sudan6
Chad1,284,00013,670,084Central AfricaLibyaNigerSudanCentral African RepublicNigeriaCameroon6
Ethiopia1,104,300101,853,268Central AfricaDjiboutiEritreaKenyaSomaliaSouth SudanSudan6
South Sudan619,7458,260,490Central AfricaSudanEthiopiaKenyaUgandaDemocratic Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic6
Hungary93,0289,797,561Central EuropeAustriaCroatiaRomaniaSerbiaSlovakiaSloveniaUkraine7
Mali1,240,19214,517,176Central AfricaAlgeriaNigerBurkina FasoIvory CoastGuineaSenegalMauritania7
Niger1,267,00015,306,252Central AfricaLibyaChadNigeriaBeninBurkina FasoMaliAlgeria7
Austria83,8718,823,054Central EuropeGermanyCzech RepublicSlovakiaHungarySloveniaItalyLiechtensteinSwitzerland8
Serbia88,3617,306,677Central EuropeHungaryRomaniaBulgariaMacedoniaCroatiaBosnia and HerzegovinaMontenegroAlbania (via Kosovo and Metohija[c])8
Zambia752,61212,935,000Southern AfricaDemocratic Republic of the CongoTanzaniaMalawiMozambiqueZimbabweBotswanaNamibiaAngola8
Total14,776,228475,818,737
Percentage of World11.4%6.9%

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