How Many Domain Name Extensions Exist Worldwide? Statistics & Numbers, Part I

Did you know that there are 280 internet domain extensions in total? And that .COM & .NET account for 50% of all domains registered worldwide? Or maybe you have always wondered what the most popular country code domains are?

In our Domain Statistics & Numbers article series we will answer these questions and provide you with some interesting numbers around the global domain name space:

  1. How many top-level domain name extensions exist in total?
  2. How many domains are registered worldwide?
  3. What are the Top 10 global domain extensions?
  4. How big are the generic top-level domain (gTLD) namespaces?
  5. What is the ranking of my country code top-level domain (ccTLD)?

And here we go with the first anwer. Enjoy!

Part 1: How many top-level domain name extensions exist in total?

tld census

Source: ICANN Blog

As you can see we have 280 domain extensions in total. The two main groups are the so-called gTLDs (generic top-level domains) and the ccTLDs (country code top-level domains). We will go into more detail about gTLD and ccTLD registration numbers later.

Generic top-level domains:

The 20 generic TLD suffixes are used mostly internationally and represent the vast majority of all registered domains worldwide. They are divided into:

  • 4 unrestricted TLDs: .COM, .NET, .ORG & .INFO (can be purchased by anyone without any restrictions)
  • 3 Generic-restricted TLDs: .BIZ (for Businesses), .NAME (for Individuals) & .PRO (for credentialed professionals)
  • 13 Sponsored TLDs: .AERO, .ASIA, .CAT, .COOP, .EDU (US only), .GOV (US only), .INT, .JOBS, .MIL (US only), .MOBI, .MUSEUM, .TEL & .TRAVEL

Country code top-level domains:

The countries of this world are represented on the internet by 248 ccTLDs altogether:

  • 242 are based on the official English short names after the ISO 3166-1 standard. The list of all country code extensions can be found in the IANA root zone database.
  • Exceptionally reserved codes are: .AC (Ascension Island), .EU (European Union) & .UK (United Kingdom, offical ISO short name is GB)
  • Former country codes: .SU (Soviet Union), .TP (Portuguese Timor, now .TL for Timor-Leste) & .YU (Yugoslavia, split into .ME for Montenegro and .RS for Serbia)

New top-level domain extensions (outlook):

It will be interesting to see how the new top-level domain extensions will change the domain landscape. If ICANN sticks to its current plan to expand the internet address space with new addresses such as .BERLIN, .NYC or .RADIO next year, we should see a completely different picture in about 3 years. The 20 “g”s could be more like 200-500 then and will surpass the country codes by far on the long run.

What is your prediction for the number of TLDs by the end of 2012? We’d love to see them in the comments.