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The latest domain name numbers and trends

There are now 177 million domain names across all top-level domains, which is an increase by 16% (24 million domain names) compared to a year ago.
These numbers are from the latest Domain Name Industry Brief, a quarterly report from Verisign about the growth of the domain name industry. Verisign has been doing this report a few years now, so we went back and looked at the data for 2006 and 2007 as well so we could show a wider time frame than just 2008 (to see trends, etc).
For your convenience, we have broken down the numbers so you can see the growth of both gTLDs (generic TLDs, such as .com and .net) and ccTLDs (country-code TLDs, such as .cn, .se, .uk and .us).

The domain name situation at the end of 2008

These are some key observations dug out from the latest report from Verisign:

  • 177 million domain names across all TLDs.
  • 71.1 million of those are ccTLD names.
  • There are more than 240 ccTLDs.
  • gTLDs grew by 11 million domain names (14%) in 2008.
  • ccTLDs grew by 13 million domain names (22%) in 2008.
  • Largest TLDs, in order: .com, .cn, .de, .net
  • Largest ccTLDs, in order: .cn, .de, .uk, .nl, .eu, .ar, .it, .br, .us, .au

Number of domain names the last 3 years

This is what the situation has looked like at the end of each year, from 2006 through 2008. As you can see, we have included not just the total number of domain names, but also broken it down into gTLDs and ccTLDs. This is relevant because the trend for gTLDs is not quite the same as for ccTLDs, as you can see further down in this article.

Domain name growth trends

In both 2006 and 2007, the number of domain names (across all TLDs) increased by more than 30 million each year. 2008 saw a slight decrease, with a growth of “only” 24 million domain names.
It’s interesting to note that in 2008, ccTLD growth exceeded gTLD growth, which was not the case in 2006 and 2007. Much of this is no doubt due to .cn, which grew 51% in 2008.

It will be interesting to see if the overall weaker domain name growth in 2008 is temporary (perhaps a side effect of the overall recession) and the growth will resume to 30+ millions in the following years, or if 2009 and onward will see the growth slow down even more.
Still, an increase of 24 million domain names per year isn’t bad. If that continues (an extremely hypothetical assumption), we’ll have a total of 417 million domain names by 2019 (if domain names still matter by then is another discussion). Of course, there are so many factors involved that it’s basically impossible to predict the future growth of domain names.
What are YOUR predictions? What will happen to the domain name industry in the coming years?
Small side note: For more Internet statistics, check out our post about Internet 2008 in numbers.

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