landlocked adj : surrounded entirely or almost entirely by land; "a landlocked country"
- A term used to refer to a region, especially a country, that
does not border the sea.
- Switzerland is landlocked and obviously will never be a great sea power and must always trade overland.
- Basque: kostagabe
- Catalan: sense litoral
- Chinese: 內陸, 内陆 (nèilù)
- Czech: vnitrozemský
- Danish: indlands-
- Finnish: sisämaa- (e.g., sisämaavaltio = landlocked country)
- French: sans littoral
- German: binnen-
- Icelandic: landlukt
- Japanese: 内陸 (nairiku)
- Korean: 내륙 (naeryuk)
- Norwegian: innlands-
- Polish: śródlądowy
- Serbian: континентални
- Spanish: sin litoral
- Thai: (mâi mee taang òk sòo tálay)
A landlocked country is commonly defined as one enclosed or nearly enclosed by land. As of 2007, there are 44 landlocked countries in the world.
A sea that is almost landlocked is connected to the oceans by a strait only, such as the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea. This may be of strategic importance, with one or two other countries controlling the entrance, and/or be relevant for tides and freshwater content.
An island country can be conversely considered waterlocked as it is entirely surrounded by water. In such cases, one must cross water to reach land abroad.
Historically, being landlocked was regarded as a disadvantageous position. It cuts the country off from sea resources such as fishing, but more importantly cuts off access to seaborne trade which, even today, makes up a large percentage of international trade. Around the world, coastal regions tend to be wealthier and more heavily populated than inland ones.
Countries thus have made particular efforts to avoid being landlocked:
- The International Congo Society, which owned the modern-day Democratic Republic of the Congo, was given a thin piece of land cutting through Angola to connect it to the sea by the Conference of Berlin in 1885.
- The Dubrovnik Republic once gifted the town of Neum to the Ottoman Empire because it did not want to have a land border with Venice; this small municipality was inherited by Bosnia and Herzegovina and now provides limited sea access, splitting the Croatian part of the Adriatic coast in two.
- After World War I Poland was given the Danzig Corridor to provide an outlet to the sea.
- The Danube was internationalized so that landlocked Austria, Hungary, Slovakia (and the southern parts of Germany, itself not landlocked) could have secure access to the Black Sea.
Losing access to the sea is often a great blow to nations:
- The creation of the new states of Eritrea and Montenegro, brought about by successful separatist movements, have caused Ethiopia and Serbia respectively to become landlocked.
- Bolivia lost its coastline to Chile in the War of the Pacific. Still to this day the Bolivian Navy trains in Lake Titicaca for an eventual recovery and, in the 21st century, the selection of the route of gas pipes from Bolivia to the sea fueled popular risings.
- Austria and Hungary also lost their access to the sea as a consequence of the Treaty of Trianon in 1920. Before, although Croatia had a constitutional autonomy within Hungary, the City of Rijeka on the Croatian coast was independent, governed directly as a corpus separatum from Budapest by an appointed governor, to provide Hungary with its only international port in the periods 1779-1813, 1822-1848 and 1868-1918.
- When the Entente Powers divided the former Ottoman Empire under the Treaty of Sèvres at the close of World War I, Armenia was promised part of the Trebizond vilayet (roughly corresponding to the modern Trabzon and Rize provinces in Turkey). This would have granted Armenia access to the Black Sea. However, the Sèvres treaty collapsed with the Turkish War of Independence and was superseded by the Treaty of Lausanne which firmly established Turkish rule over the area.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea now gives a landlocked country a right of access to and from the sea, without taxation of traffic through transit states. The United Nations has a programme of action to assist Landlocked Developing Countries, and the current responsible Undersecretary-General is Anwarul Karim Chowdhury.
Some countries may have a large coastline, but much of it may not be readily usable for trade and commerce. For instance, in its early history, Russia's only ports were on the Arctic Ocean and frozen shut much of the year. Gaining control of a warm water port was a major motivator of Russian expansion towards the Baltic Sea, Black Sea and Pacific Ocean. On the other hand, some landlocked countries can have access to the ocean through wide navigable rivers. For instance, Paraguay (and Bolivia to a lesser extent) have access to the ocean through the Paraguay and Parana rivers, respectively.
Several countries have coastlines on landlocked seas, such as the Caspian and the Aral. Since these seas are sometimes considered to be lakes, and since they do not allow access to seaborne trade, countries such as Kazakhstan are still considered to be landlocked. (The Caspian Sea, however, is connected to the Black Sea via a canal between the Volga and Don rivers.)
List of landlocked countries
- Central Asia landlocked countries (6): Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
- Central European landlocked countries (8): Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia and Switzerland
- Central African landlocked countries (5): Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Mali, Niger
- South African landlocked countries (4): Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe
- East African landlocked countries (3): Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda
- Caucasian landlocked countries (2): Armenia, Azerbaijan
- South American landlocked countries (2): Bolivia, Paraguay
There are the following 'single' landlocked countries (each of them borders no other landlocked country):
If Armenia and Azerbaijan are counted as part of Europe, then Europe has the most landlocked countries, at 16. Kazakhstan is also sometimes regarded as a transcontinental country, so if that is included, the count for Europe goes up to 17. If these countries are included in Asia, then Africa has the most, at 15. Depending on the status of the three transcontinental countries, Asia has between 9 and 12, while South America has only 2. North America and Oceania are the only continents with no landlocked countries. (Oceania is also notable for having almost no land borders.)
After World War II, the Saarland and West-Berlin became landlocked while being separated from Germany. The Soviet Berlin blockade of 1948 stopped all land traffic. The threat of starvation of the large population was overcome by the Western Allied Berlin airlift.
Doubly landlockedA landlocked country surrounded by other landlocked countries may be called a "doubly landlocked" country. A person in such a country has to cross at least two borders to reach a coastline.
There are only two such countries in the world:
Uzbekistan has borders with Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan that border the landlocked but saltwater Caspian Sea, from which ships can reach the Sea of Azov by using the Volga-Don Canal, and thus the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the oceans.
There was no doubly landlocked country in the world from the 1871 Unification of Germany until the end of World War I. This is because Uzbekistan was part of Russian Empire; while Liechtenstein bordered Austria-Hungary, which had an Adriatic coast until 1918.
The following countries are almost landlocked, as their short coastlines measure only a tiny fraction of the length of their land borders. The list gives the countries where this fraction is less than 5%:
- Democratic Republic of the Congo, 0.3%
- Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1.4%
- Iraq, 1.6%
- Jordan, 1.6%
- Republic of the Congo, 3.0%
- Togo, 3.3%
- Slovenia, 3.4%
- Belgium, 4.6% - this low fraction results from Belgium's very complex land borders with the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and France, contrasting with its very smooth North Sea coastline.
A landlocked country may be given access to the sea through a corridor:
- In the Treaty of Versailles, a part of Germany, designated "the Polish corridor", was given to the new post-World War I country Second Polish Republic, for access to the Baltic Sea, which was also the pretext for making Danzig with its harbour the Free City of Danzig. This made Poland a semi-landlocked country as described in the previous section, but Poland soon enlarged the small fisher harbor of Gdynia into a large one.
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Bosnia & Herzegovina have sea corridors.
- Bolivia lost its corridor to the sea after the War of the Pacific.
landlocked in Bavarian: Binnenstaat
landlocked in Catalan: Estat sense litoral
landlocked in Czech: Vnitrozemský stát
landlocked in Danish: Indlandsstat
landlocked in German: Binnenstaat
landlocked in Modern Greek (1453-): Μεσόγειο κράτος
landlocked in Spanish: Estado sin litoral
landlocked in Basque: Estatu itsasgabe
landlocked in Persian: کشور محاط در خشکی
landlocked in French: Pays sans accès à la mer
landlocked in Korean: 내륙국
landlocked in Croatian: Kontinentalne države
landlocked in Icelandic: Landlukt land
landlocked in Hungarian: Tengerparttal nem rendelkező ország
landlocked in Nepali: भूपरिवेष्ठित
landlocked in Japanese: 内陸国
landlocked in Norwegian: Liste over verdens innlandsstater
landlocked in Polish: Państwo śródlądowe
landlocked in Russian: Не имеющие выхода к морю государства
landlocked in Simple English: Landlocked
landlocked in Serbian: Континенталне државе
landlocked in Finnish: Sisämaavaltio
landlocked in Swedish: Inlandsstat
landlocked in Thai: ประเทศที่ไม่มีทางออกสู่ทะเล
landlocked in Yiddish: לאנד איינגעשלאסן
landlocked in Chinese: 內陸國家