Verisign Q4 2016 Domain Name Industry Brief: Internet Grows to 329.3 Million Domain Names

Today, we released the latest issue of the Domain Name Industry Brief, which showed that the internet grew by 2.3 million domain names in the fourth quarter of 2016, and closed with a base of 329.3 million domain names across all top-level domains (TLDs).1,2 This is a 6.8 percent increase, year over year.1,2

.com and .net Breakdown

The .com and .net TLDs experienced aggregate growth, reaching a combined total of approximately 142.2 million domain names in the domain name base3 in the fourth quarter of 2016.  In the fourth quarter, Verisign processed 8.8 million new domain name registrations for .com and .net, as compared to 12.2 million domain names for the same period in 2015.

TLD Breakdown

In the fourth quarter of 2016, the top 10 TLDs in order by zone size were:1

Top 10 TLDs in Q4 2016
Top 10 Largest TLDs by Number of Reported Domain Names

ccTLD Breakdown

Country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) reached 142.7 million domain names at the end of Q4 2016, with an increase of 2.6 million domain names, or a 1.8 percent increase compared to the third quarter of 2016.1,2 As of Dec. 31, 2016, the top 10 ccTLDs by zone size were:

Top 10 ccTLDs in Q4 2016
Top 10 ccTLDs

New gTLD Breakdown

At the end of Q4 2016, new generic TLD (ngTLDs) registrations totaled 25.6 million, which represents 7.8 percent of total domain name registrations. The top 10 ngTLDs represented 63.5 percent of all ngTLD domain name registrations. The following chart shows ngTLD domain name registrations as a percentage of overall TLD domain name registrations, and also the top 10 ngTLDs as a percentage of all ngTLD domain name registrations for the fourth quarter of 2016.

New gTLDs in Q4 2016
New gTLDs as Percentage of Total TLDs

DNS Query Load

Verisign’s average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load during the fourth quarter of 2016 was 143 billion across all TLDs operated by Verisign, with a peak of 398 billion. Quarter over quarter, the daily average increased 11.4 percent and the peak increased by 122.5 percent. Year over year, the daily average query load increased by 16.0 percent and the peak increased 105.1 percent.

For more domain stats from the fourth quarter of 2016, check out the latest issue of the Domain Name Industry Brief.


  1. .tk is a ccTLD that is provided for free to individuals and businesses worldwide (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20131216006048/en/Freenom-Closes-3M-Series-Funding#.UxeUGNJDv9s). The zone size for .tk was last estimated by Zooknic in Q4 2014 and this zone size was subsequently used in the Q4 2014 through Q2 2016 DNIBs. In Q3 2016, Zooknic reported a significant decline in the .tk zone and restated the estimated zone size of .tk for each quarter from Q4 2014 through Q3 2016 using a proprietary methodology. As a result, for comparative purposes of this DNIB to the Q3 2016 DNIB and the Q4 2015 DNIB, Verisign has applied an updated estimate of the total zone size across all TLDs for Q3 2016 of 327.0 million and Q4 2015 of 307.7 million and an updated estimate of the total ccTLD zone size for Q3 2016 of 140.1 million and Q4 2015 of 138.1 million.
  2. The gTLD and ccTLD data cited in this brief includes ccTLD Internationalized Domain Names, is an estimate as of the time this brief was developed, and is subject to change as more complete data is received.
  3. The domain name base is the active zone plus the number of domain names that are registered but not configured for use in the respective Top-Level Domain zone file plus the number of domain names that are in a client or server hold status.
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1 comment

  1. great breakdown, lots to contemplate

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