I didn’t use phone books much growing up, but I remember their larger-than-life size and the loud thud they would make when dropped on a table. Daunting is how I would describe them. Thankfully, we now have digitized forms of organizing and finding phone numbers. Looking up a phone number to a doctor’s office on Google sure beats flipping through endless pages of names and numerical strings in a phone book after a while.
The Domain Name System saved us from a similar world of inconvenience and trouble. It gave us domains, which allow us to search for websites with human-readable addresses. Otherwise, we would have our own mega-sized address books of IP addresses to organize.
The World Wide Web has so many websites to explore, and most have top-level domains. Below, we reveal our latest stats on domain names and how many domains exist on the internet.
1. There are 664 Million Domains Worldwide
There are 664 million domains in the world.1,2 This number indicates how many domains exist in the world’s database, but doesn’t necessarily mean all are in active use. According to our report, How Many Websites Are on the Internet?, only about 203 million of the world’s websites are actively visited and maintained, which proves not all of these domains are in use.
The domain industry is in a constant state of flux, with thousands of domains registered a day. Domains can also live in various states. Domain name owners can park their domains, keep them in their portfolio for reselling, auction, or use them for their websites. Many are also under trademark by big brand names that want to protect their namesakes.
2. There are 133 Million Domains in the US
The US wears the crown for the biggest number of domains in the world at 133 million domains.3,4 Behind the US are China, Canada, and Iceland in that specific order. What’s even more impressive is that the number of domains for these countries are a distant second, third, and fourth, respectively.
While the total number of US domains sits above 100 million, the number of domains in these three countries ranges between 18 million and 22 million.
3. GoDaddy Owns 12% of the World’s Domain Portfolio
GoDaddy is the #1 domain registrar in the world, and with that title comes the largest domain portfolio in the world. The registrar currently has more than 83 million registered domains within its platform, increasing from 76.6 million in 2023.1
GoDaddy has done an excellent job at diversifying itself. The company offers various domain services and support, showing why so many people flock to its platform for domains. Users can browse, auction, generate, and register domains on GoDaddy’s site.
4. The .cn Extension Is the Largest TLD in Asia With Nearly 9 million Active Domains
The .cn domain name extension may have only about 0.4% of the global domain market share. 5 But it’s still the most popular domain name extension in Asia, dominating with almost 9 million registered domains.
China has one of the fastest-growing economies and the second-largest population globally. This shows why .cn has the highest percentage of registrations for country-code TLDs. As the world continues its digital transformation, more people will use .cn. It is also a top choice for many multinational companies with business locations in China to establish an online presence.
5. .xyz Has More Than 13 Million Domain Registrations
Newer generic top-level domains have been growing in popularity over the years. At the moment, .xyz reigns as the domain name extension with the most registrations, with roughly 13.8 million domain names.6 This number accounts for 10% of the new gTLD shares.
Other high-ranking gTLDs include .top, .info, .icu, and .online. Technological shifts have also influenced demand in the domain market. Domain extensions, such as .ai and .io, have emerged as top choices for companies in the tech industry, specifically in the AI field.
6. Tokyo’s Geo Extension Has 290,000 Domain Registrations
The number of geographical domain extensions has steadily climbed over the years, thanks to the diversification of domain names. The popular .com has become increasingly scarce, and people have turned to lesser-known domain extensions for their domain names. Choosing a city as a domain extension has helped many website owners establish authority and brandability.
Tokyo has the highest domain name registrations for its geographical extension, .tokyo.7 New York City — .nyc — is a distant second with 64,000 registered names. Of the new generic top-level domains, geographical TLDs make up 1.3% but continue to grow in usage.
7. The TLD .ai Has Grown By 203% in One Year
The domain extension .ai was introduced as a country-code TLD for Anguilla on February 16, 1995. But a lot has changed since 1995. With the release of ChatGPT came the rise of AI and, subsequently, its domain look-alike. Companies running ahead to drop their own AI solutions have picked up .ai as their domain extension in droves.
Domain registrations for .ai have skyrocketed by 203%, increasing from 75,314 in July 2022 to 196,292 in July 2023.8 As of September 2023, the number of registered domains sits at 306,861, according to the registry for Anguilla.9 This massive jump is arguably due to ChatGPT’s release on November 30, 2022. As AI continues to take the world by storm, it seems for .ai the only way is up.
8. A New Domain is Registered Every 2.61 Seconds
Digital transformation has helped drive the uptick in websites over the past few years. Businesses have moved online, and websites have become essential to establishing an online presence.
Since domains are a crucial piece to this puzzle, it’s no surprise that their numbers have steadily increased in the last decade. Currently, 33,000 domain registrations take place daily.10
9. Generic TLDs Own 42% of the Market Share
Generic TLDs are the #1 TLD type (42%), beating out new generic TLDs (18%) and country-code TLDs (40%).11 They have proven that old is still gold, as pioneers .com, .net, and .org continue to own a large share of the domain market. Website owners can’t overlook the credibility and reputation generic TLDs have created over the years.
How Can I Choose a Good Domain Name?
Domain names are an important part of any website’s brand, whether you’re a blogger or a cookie shop owner. So it’s a great idea to sit and think about your choice before diving into the registration process. We advise prioritizing your brand and choosing a name that’s not too long or complicated. You should want something that’s memorable, easy to search for visitors, and represents your brand.
As for domain extensions, budget, location, and business type can all factor into this choice. Generic TLDs, such as .com and .net, are often more expensive than other TLD types. Consider an extension that matches your industry or location, such as .ai, .bio, or .nyc. Once you’re done brainstorming, you can head over to your favorite host or registrar and start on your exciting website journey.
Sources and Further Reading