Each country has its own domain extension specified by the International Standards Organization that consists of two characters. The first ccTLDs were delegated to the United States (.us), United Kingdom (.uk), and Italy (.it) in 1985.
Most ccTLDs are allocated to nations or states. In most cases, the government itself determines the policies for its ccTLD and appoints a registry operator (meaning an institution) to enforce them. The registry operator manages the top-level domain by running and maintaining the hardware (the name server infrastructure) needed to answer queries for its part of the hierarchy, meaning the domain.
Here are a few examples of registry operators countries have delegated to enforce their ccTLD:
- Barbados (.bb) and Finland (.fi) have government ministry operators
- Yemen (.ye) and San Marino (.sm) have telecom operators
- Chile (.cl) and the Bahamas (.bs) have university operators
- Austria (.at) and greenland (.gs) have private company operators
- Belgium (.be) and New Zealand (.nz) have non profit operators
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the company that regulates the allocation of all ccTLDs. It assumes responsibility for IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions previously performed under U.S. Government contract.
ccTLDs for countries beginning with letters M-R
|mp||Northern Mariana Islands|
|nz||New Zealand (Aotearoa)|
|org||US Non-Profit Organization|
|pg||Papua New Guinea|
|pm||Saint Pierre and Miquelon|
For more country specific domain extensions, visit our other comprehensive lists:
- ccTLDs for countries beginning with letters A-E
- ccTLDs for countries beginning with letters F-L
- ccTLDs for countries beginning with letters S-Z
UPDATE: This article was updated April 2021 by Abby Dykes.