Also known as a country code top-level domain (ccTLD), a country-specific domain extension is an internet top-level domain generally used or reserved for sites based within a country, sovereign state, or dependent territory that identifies with a country code.
Not all domains end in .com, .org, or .edu. If the website does not end in these generic top-level domains (gTLDs), it’s likely the website is hosted on a server in another country, or the origin of business is in another country. Different countries use different suffixes, but all only consist of two letters.
If you encounter a website with a unique two-letter domain extension starting anywhere between A – E, look here for its country equivalent. We’ve created a list of different country domain extensions and their corresponding countries sorted alphabetically according to the file extension.
Characteristics of a ccTLD
Each country has its own domain extension specified by the International Organization for Standards 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 beginning with letters A-E
|ac||United Kingdom academic institutions|
|ae||United Arab Emirates|
|ag||Antigua and Barbuda|
|ba||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|cc||Cocos (Keeling) Islands|
|cf||Central African Republic|
|ci||Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)|
For more country specific domain extensions, visit our other comprehensive lists:
- ccTLDs for countries beginning with letters F-L
- ccTLDs for countries beginning with letters M-R
- ccTLDs for countries beginning with letters S-Z
UPDATE: This article was updated April 2021 by Abby Dykes