Each country has its own domain extension specified by the International Organization for Standards consisting of two characters. This is called a Country Code Top Level Domain or ccTLD. 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 country names beginning with letters S-Z
|sj||Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands|
|st||Sao Tome and Principe|
|tc||Turks and Caicos Islands|
|tf||French Southern Territories|
|tt||Trinidad and Tobago|
|um||US Minor Outlying Islands|
|va||Vatican City State|
|vc||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines|
|vg||Virgin Islands (British)|
|vi||Virgin Islands (US)|
|wf||Wallis and Futuna Islands|
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 M-R
UPDATE: This article was updated April 2021 by Abby Dykes.