The online World: Country code domain names by popularity

The online World: Country code domain names by popularity

Did you know?

– In the 1980s, the USA wanted the UK to use .gb domain names. However, many .uk domain names had already been registered. It would also have been unfair on those in Northern Ireland.

– In the early 90s, if you wanted to register a domain name, you emailed a group of people known as the Naming Committee with your proposed domain name. If nobody objected within three days, it was yours.

– Jon Postel, one of the early founders of the internet, used to keep an informal, hand-written list in his office of whose job it was to manage domain names in each country.

– The USA is surprisingly small because .us only has 1,687,107 registrations, reflecting the popularity of .com. Worldwide, there are around 123 million .com domains registered.

– The UK has a 10.6 million-strong .uk domain. Back in 1985, .uk was one of the first ever country-code domains to be created. In 2014, shorter ‘’ domains were made available alongside ‘’ for the first time.

– 22 countries now have Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs), meaning they have non-Latin script, such as Arabic or Chinese letters. Egypt, China, Taiwan and Russia were among the first to launch, with IDNs now representing 2% of the World’s domain names.   

– Tiny south pacific island Tokelau (population 1,400) is an online giant, with more than 31 million .tk registrations. Its huge popularity is due to an unusual operating model where domains can be registered for free. The same model applies to .ml, .cf, .ga  and .gq in Africa.

– The shortage of African domain names is most probably due to the continent’s low rate of internet usage, with only 15% of the one billion people living there connecting to the internet regularly.

– Countries like Syria (.sy) and Somalia (.so) are almost invisible due to the tiny number of domains registered. For some, such as North Korea (.kp) there is no data available.

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