According to the ZACR (ZA Central Registry), more than 1.2 million domains have now been registered across all Second-Level Domains that the registry administers.
This includes the SLD’s “co.za,” “org.za,” and “net.za,” amongst others, as well as 3 Geographic TLDs (Top-Level Domains), “.joburg,” “.durban” and “.capetown.”
The most popular of these, the eponymous “.co.za” has the majority of registrations, with with just over 1.1 million .co.za domains on record.
It’s probably no surprise that the most popular TLD in the world is one of the oldest domain extensions. Google has indexed nearly 5 billion pages that have a .com URL. (.com was intended to designate pages as being for a commercial purpose.
The gap between the .com and the next most popular, the .org, is substantial, with just less than 2 billion .org (non-commercial) pages, followed by .edu, used by US accredited tertiary educational institutions, with about 1.5 billion pages, and .gov, used by the US government at just over a billion.
There’s a sharp drop after that to .uk, with only 500 million, and it starts to drop rapidly from there.
The Oldest Domains
Funnily enough, the oldest domain, .arpa (registered on 1st Jan 1985 (along with .org, .gov, .edu, .mil and .net but not .com) is one of the least popular domains, with Google reporting only 162 pages. This domain effectively deals with technical infrastructure on the web, and was originally implemented by the Advanced Research Projects Agency, ARPA, who underwrote the development of what was then known as ARPANET in 1969.
The precursor to the modern internet on which you’re reading this today.