The global number of domain names under registration grew by 9.5% in 2011, up from 6.1% in 2010. The total now stands at 218 million domains registered. I have a few of them – perhaps 7 or 8 I’m not sure. The growth trend might sound interesting but the rate peaked at over 30% in 2006 and for most of the ten years running up to 2011 was higher than the growth in that year. I got all this from the Nominet website.
It doesn’t take a great stretch of the imagination to envisage a situation where one day everyone on the planet has their own domain name. Every person in my family does. Your domain will be the basis of your own unique resource and identifier and used for many things. A bit like a “super” National Insurance number. The fact that John Smith is likely already taken is a bit of a shame if you are he but that is already something you have had to live with for most of your life. In the future we might even find couples searching for available domain names before choosing a name for their baby! 🙂
If we assume a steady rate of growth of 10% a year then it will take 28 years for the total number of domains to reach 8.14 billion. According to the United Nations the world population in 2011 was around 7 billion1. I don’t know what it will be by 2040 but probably higher than my 8.14 Billion (assuming we don’t all blow each other up in the meantime) and it doesn’t matter for the purposes of this chat.
I guess what I am saying is that whether you agree with me or not re everyone having their own domain name there is still a long way to go with project internet. This is reinforced when you consider the capacity for expansion of the physical infrastructure presented by IPv6. I am also sure that thus far we have only scratched the surface of what can be done with domain names. We also have to recognise that many people and organisations own multiple suffix variants of the same domain so for everyone to have one we need to have far more than the 8.14 Billion registered.
As well as the Nominet website it is also worth checking out zooknic.com for data on domain history and growth.
1 wouldn’t stay still long enough for anyone to count