Humanities › Geography 44 Landlocked Countries Without Direct Ocean Access Share Flipboard Email Print NuclearVacuum/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0 Geography Political Geography Basics Physical Geography Population Country Information Key Figures & Milestones Maps Urban Geography By Matt Rosenberg Geography Expert M.A., Geography, California State University - Northridge B.A., Geography, University of California - Davis Matt Rosenberg is an award-winning geographer and the author of "The Handy Geography Answer Book" and "The Geography Bee Complete Preparation Handbook." our editorial process Matt Rosenberg Updated June 22, 2019 Approximately one-fifth of the world's countries are landlocked, meaning they have no access to the oceans. There are 44 landlocked countries that do not have direct access to an ocean or ocean-accessible sea (such as the Mediterranean Sea). Why Is Being Landlocked an Issue? While a country such as Switzerland has thrived despite its lack of access to the world's oceans, being landlocked has many disadvantages. Some landlocked countries rank among the poorest in the world. Some of the issues of being landlocked include: Lack of access to fishing and oceanic food sourcesHigh transportation and transit costs because of a lack of access to ports and world shipping operationsGeopolitical vulnerabilities from dependence on neighboring countries for access to world markets and natural resourcesMilitary limitations because of the lack of naval options What Continents Have No Landlocked-Countries? North America has no landlocked countries, and Australia is rather obviously not landlocked. Within the United States, over half of the 50 states are landlocked with no direct access to the world's oceans. Many states, however, do have water access to the oceans via the Hudson Bay, Chesapeake Bay, or Mississippi River. Landlocked Countries in South America South America has just two landlocked countries: Bolivia and Paraguay. Landlocked Countries in Europe Europe has 14 landlocked countries: Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Vatican City. Landlocked Countries in Africa Africa has 16 landlocked countries: Botswana, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, South Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Lesotho is unusual in that it is landlocked by just one country (South Africa). Landlocked Countries in Asia Asia has 12 landlocked countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Laos, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Note that several of the countries in western Asia border the landlocked Caspian Sea, a feature that does open some transit and trade opportunities. Disputed Regions that Are Landlocked Four regions that are not fully recognized as independent countries are landlocked: Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, and Transnistria. What Are the Two Doubly-Landlocked Countries? There are two, special, landlocked countries that are known as doubly-landlocked countries, completely surrounded by other landlocked countries. The two doubly-landlocked countries are Uzbekistan (surrounded by Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan) and Liechtenstein (surrounded by Austria and Switzerland). What Is the Largest Landlocked Country? Kazakhstan is the world's ninth largest country but is the world's largest landlocked country. It's 1.03 million square miles (2.67 million km2) and is bordered by Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and the landlocked Caspian Sea. What Are the Most Recently Added Landlocked Countries? The most recent addition to the list of landlocked countries is South Sudan which gained independence in 2011. Serbia is also a recent addition to the list of landlocked countries. The country formerly had access to the Adriatic Sea, but when Montenegro became an independent country in 2006, Serbia lost its ocean access. Edited by Allen Grove.