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VeriSign: Internet has almost 210 million domains

Verisign Top-Level Domain Registrations

The Internet may have run out of IPv4 address space earlier this year, but that doesn’t seem to have put any damper on the worldwide market for Internet domains. According to a new Domain Name Industry Brief from VeriSign (PDF) at the end of the first quarter of 2011 the total number of top-level domains registered around the world was over 209.8 million, an increase of 4.5 million (or 2.2 percent) over the fourth quarter alone. Overall, domain registrations grew by 7.9 percent (15.3 million) during the last year.

For the year, the ten largest top-level domains in order were .com, .de, .net, .uk, .org, .info, .nl, .eu, .cn, and .ru. Although there are more than 240 top-level domains in use around the world, some 61 percent of all registrations in the last year were in those top ten domains.

Although registrations in top-level domains representing individual countries—like .jp, .uk, .ca, and .us—saw a 5.1 percent increase during the year, the venerable .com and .net continue to be popular, with a combined total of 108 million domains registered in those two TLDs alone, and some 8.3 million new registrations during the fourth quarter. Those domains also have high renewal rates, with 73.8 percent of domains in those TLDs getting renewed.

That doesn’t mean some country codes aren’t seeing significant upticks in their usage, though: .uk has managed to bump .org from fourth to fifth place, while .nl and .eu each moved up a place while China’s .cn actually dropped. However, the country TLDs with the largest proportional growth were actually Australia’s .au and Canada’s .ca.