[AfrICANN-discuss] 10 places with an Internet top-level domain but hardly any people

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Sun Feb 14 20:49:06 SAST 2010

 10 places with an Internet top-level domain but hardly any
Posted in Main <http://royal.pingdom.com/category/main/> on January 26th,
2010 by Pingdom

[image: Tiny place with TLD]

Most country code top-level domains on the Internet represent areas with
millions of people, such as .uk (United Kingdom), .ca (Canada), .de
(Germany), .se (Sweden), and so on, but there a places where the population
isn’t counted in the millions, or even thousands, that still have their very
own top-level domain on the Internet. Some of them aren’t even inhabited.

IANA, the organization that administers the domain name system, bases its
allocation of country code top-level domains on the standard country code
list in ISO 3166-1 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1> which defines
codes for “the names of countries, dependent territories, and special areas
of geographical interest.”

The IANA is not in the business of deciding what is and what is not a
country. The selection of the ISO 3166 list as a basis for country code
top-level domain names was made with the knowledge that ISO has a procedure
for determining which entities should be and should not be on that list. ( –
Jon Postel, RFC 1591 <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1591>)

This has led to some really interesting situations with top-level domains
(TLDs) for places where no one actually lives, or with very tiny
TLDs for 10 places with tiny populations

We have sorted them by population size, smallest first.
.hm – Heard and McDonald Islands

*Population: 0*

A territory of Australia, the Heard and McDonald Islands is a group of
barren, uninhabited volcanic islands in the middle of the ocean between
Africa and Antarctica. The main reason there are any domain names registered
for .hm is that it’s been marketed as a “home” address.
.pn – Pitcairn Islands

*Population: 50*

The Pitcairn Islands consists of four volcanic islands in the southern
Pacific Ocean and is a former British colony. It’s the home of the
descendants of the Bounty
.tf – French Southern and Antarctic Lands

*Population: 140*

A number of islands spread over a rather large area of the Indian Ocean
between Africa and Australia. There is no permanent population; merely a
group of military personnel, scientists, officials and support staff.
.cc – Cocos (Keeling) Islands

*Population: 596*

A territory of Australia, the Cocos Islands is a group of islands located in
the Indian Ocean about halfway between India and Australia. The .cc TLD is
also used by the Turkish part of Cyprus, mainly because only Turkey
recognizes it as a sovereign state so it won’t get its own TLD.
.va – Vatican City

*Population: 826*

Vatican City is of course the well-known walled city-state within Rome that
serves as the high seat of the Catholic Church.
.ac – Ascension Island

*Population: 940*

Ascension Island is a volcanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean and is a
territory of the United Kingdom. It is home to one of five ground antennas
that assist in the operation of the Global Positioning System (GPS).
.aq – Antarctica

*Population: 1,000 – 5,000*

Antarctica has no permanent population; the only people in Antarctica are
scientists living for periods of time in various research stations scattered
over the continent. The .aq TLD is reserved for use by organizations that
are conducting work in or promoting Antarctica.
.nu – Niue

*Population: 1,398*

An island nation just northeast of New Zealand, commonly known as the “Rock
of Polynesia”. Since “nu” means “now” in Swedish, Danish and Dutch, .nu has
been successfully marketed in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium.
.tk – Tokelau

*Population: 1,416*

A territory of New Zealand, Tokelau consists of three islands in the
southern Pacific Ocean north of New Zealand.
.io – British Indian Ocean Territory

*Population: 3,500*

Also known as Chagos Islands, it’s a territory of the United Kingdom. It’s a
group of islands located about halfway between Africa and Indonesia. The
population almost exclusively consists of a joint military outpost for the
United Kingdom and United States.
Final words

Compare the above top-level domains with .in – India, population: 1.2
billion – and .cn – China, population: 1.3 billion. A wee bit of a
difference. [image: :)]

*Photo credit: Satellite photo by
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