Landlocked country

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World map with _ Landlocked states and landlocked states that only _are surrounded by other landlocked countries ( Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan )

A landlocked state is a state that has no direct connection to the open sea .

There are 44 landlocked countries worldwide, two of which, Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan , are surrounded exclusively by other landlocked countries. Three landlocked states, Lesotho , San Marino and Vatican City , are each surrounded by a single neighboring state ( enclave ) and seven states, Andorra , Bhutan , Liechtenstein, Moldova , Mongolia , Nepal and Swaziland , each lie between exactly two neighboring states.

The largest landlocked country in terms of area and at the same time the only landlocked country on two continents is Kazakhstan . There is no landlocked country on an island . The most populous landlocked country is Ethiopia . In terms of area, Mongolia is the second largest landlocked country in the world and one of the most sparsely populated.

Access to world trade

The geographical location of landlocked countries makes it difficult for them to participate in world trade , as this is mainly carried out at sea over great distances. According to a United Nations report, landlocked states spend an average of 15% of their export revenues on transport. This is of particular importance in infrastructural weak areas of the third world.

31 of the internationally recognized landlocked countries - the so-called developing countries with no access to the sea - are considered developing countries , 16 of them are counted among the least developed countries . Eight of the twelve least developed countries in the world according to the Human Development Index are landlocked.

Also inland waterways often serve as access to the sea. More than 10% of goods imports ( oil , mining products, food, heavy goods) into Switzerland are handled from Rotterdam via the Rhine to Basel . The same applies to Austria via the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal to Linz , Krems or Vienna and previously upstream from the Black Sea. The Danube is also the main transport route for the landlocked states of Slovakia , Hungary and Serbia . For the countries bordering the Caspian Sea , including Kazakhstan , Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan , the Volga-Don Canal provides access to the world's oceans.

Political Impact

Political events have changed the map again and again, and with it access to the sea:

Role of the UN

In the international law of the sea ​​of the United Nations , landlocked states were legally promised access to the sea. No taxes may be levied on the transport of goods to the sea through other countries. Because many landlocked states are lagging behind in development, the UN has launched a program to support these states.

As early as April 20, 1921, it was multilaterally agreed in the Barcelona Agreement that landlocked states could register civilian merchant ships under their own flag. The agreement also included the freedom of inland waterways, such as the Rhine or Danube in Europe , which gave Austria , Czechoslovakia and Hungary , which had become landlocked countries after the First World War , access to the Black Sea and the opportunity to build their own merchant fleets . Following these agreements, many landlocked states also joined the United Nations' specialized agency for shipping issues, the IMO , after the Second World War .

List of landlocked countries

Europe Asia Africa South America

European cluster (8 (9))    

individual landlocked states

Central Asian Cluster (6)    

Caucasian Cluster (2 (3))

individual landlocked states

Central African Cluster (10)    

South African Cluster (4)  

individual landlocked states

South American Cluster (2)

* within a single other state
** between two other states
*** only surrounded by landlocked states
(): de facto regime with or without disputed autonomy under international law

There are no landlocked states in North America and Australia .


The opposite of a landlocked state is a coastal state . An island state is a state that consists of one or more islands or parts of islands. The land area in the interior of a continent is referred to as “ inland ”, mostly without reference to state borders.

Member states in Germany

In Germany, the federal states of Schleswig-Holstein , Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , Lower Saxony , Bremen and Hamburg ( Neuwerk , as well as the islands of Nigehörn and Scharhörn as part of the district of Hamburg-Mitte ) are referred to as " coastal states " as countries with a coastal share on the North Sea and / or the Baltic Sea but it is not customary to refer to all other federal states as "landlocked states".

Web links

Wiktionary: landlocked country  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Jürgen Vogt: Border conflict Bolivia and Chile: The old dispute over the sea . In: The daily newspaper: taz . March 22, 2017, ISSN  0931-9085 ( [accessed November 14, 2017]).
  2. ^ Triest (Trieste) - tourist information. In: Retrieved November 14, 2017 .
  3. (website accessed on September 11, 2017)
  4. ^ Sudan: Geographical Description and Map. In: Retrieved November 14, 2017 .
  5. South Sudan. Retrieved November 14, 2017 .
  7. ^ Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS) Home. September 28, 2011, archived from the original on September 28, 2011 ; accessed on November 14, 2017 .