2019 DENIC Domain Statistics


The Distribution of .de Domains in Germany ― 2019 was another year of growth

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Statistically speaking, every fifth inhabitant of Germany has a .de domain. Every year, the precise geographic distribution of .de domains is mapped in the annual domain statistics published by DENIC. The registry managing all domains with the ending .de now presents the results of 2019. As of 31 December 2019, nearly 15 million .de domains were registered in 401 cities and districts of Germany. Adding to these numbers were more than 1.3 million domains of holders whose place of residence was abroad. In total, more than 16.3 million .de domains were registered at the end of 2019. Domain development in general was moderate, with growth being more pronounced in the south than in the north of Germany. The west-east divide in the distribution of domains increased slightly.

Municipal Level: Constant .de Domain Numbers in the Cities – Slight Increase in the Districts

Looking at absolute domain numbers, the top places were held by the same large cities with the same ranking as last year. Scoring 992,558 .de domains, Berlin stayed clearly in the lead, far ahead of Munich (629,264) and Hamburg (573,648) on ranks two and three. When referring the number of .de domains to the number of inhabitants, the top three at municipal level also remained unchanged. Osnabruck came first again: With 1,537 .de domains per 1,000 inhabitants, it still was far ahead of the other two top runners in the city league, Munich (432) and Bonn (379). In regard to the districts, the frontrunners were located in the south of Germany again, namely Bavaria: With 426 .de domains per 1,000 inhabitants, Starnberg narrowly took the lead ahead of last year's number one, Freising (423); the district of Munich (365) followed at a distance. The national average was 180 .de domains per 1,000 inhabitants (higher individual statistical values reflect local domain investors with larger-scale domain portfolios). About one quarter of the cities and districts included in the analysis exceeded the reference value, whereby the number of cities (52) with above-average values was higher than the respective number of districts (43). Measured in absolute numbers, the number of domains increased in the districts while it remained unchanged in the cities.

Regional Level: Year-on-Year Domain Increase in the South of Germany Larger than in the North – Clear Drop in Growth in the East Compared to the West

The ranking on the federal-state level for the number of domains related to inhabitants also was consistent in 2019. The state of Hamburg – comprising the city of Hamburg and its wider outskirts – with 313 domains per 1,000 inhabitants maintained its uncontested leading position and stayed far ahead of Berlin (275) and the state of Bavaria with its vast lands (206). The state of Saxony-Anhalt (82) once again brought up the rear behind the states of Thuringia (103) and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (107), which swapped places. With a plus of 0.2 percent, the overall national growth rate related to the number of domains showed a reversed trend compared to 2018 (-0.9%). Looking at the complete German territory, nine federal states scored values equivalent to or above the mean value, with Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (+1.1%) in the lead. Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate reported increases of 0.8 percent respectively. A decline in domain numbers per 1,000 inhabitants was experienced by Thuringia (-5.1%), Berlin (-1.4%), Saxony-Anhalt (-0.7%), Bremen (-0.6%) and North Rhine-Westphalia (-0.2%). Excluding Berlin, the average percentage domain growth among the states in the east of Germany (-0.7%) fell considerably short of that scored by those in the west (+0.4%) in 2019.

Related to absolute numbers, domain growth took place mainly in the southern part of Germany. As in the last year, the largest number of domains was recorded for North Rhine-Westphalia (3,255,550), which was followed by Bavaria (2,675,029). The so-called Free State of Saxony with 528,241 registered .de domains achieved the highest density among the federal states in the east of the country and scored ten again in the overall German ranking. The smallest number of .de domains reported the city state of Bremen (111,596).

International level: Popularity of .de Beyond German Borders Continuously on the Rise

Compared on an annual level, the overall number of .de domains under management increased slightly by 0.7 percent compared to a 0.7-percent drop in 2017/2018. This is a plus of 120,000 .de domains (2018: minus 110,000 domains). The 16.3 million .de domains that were registered at the end of 2019 included 1,322,345 domains of holders residing outside of Germany (2018: 1,225,965). With +7.9 percent, the share of these domains increased considerably (2018: +3.4%) and accounted for 8.1 percent of all .de domains at the end of 2019. The holders of .de domains originated from all over the world. As in the past, German domains were particularly popular in the United States (27%), the Netherlands (11%) and in the Russian Federation (10%). But Germany's European neighbours Switzerland and Austria also had a 6-percent share each in the .de domains with non-German-based holders, and Great Britain and the United Arab Emirates accounted for 4 percent each. All in all, 16,324,855 domains were registered with DENIC on 31 December 2019. Statistically, every fifth inhabitant of the Federal Republic of Germany had registered a domain under the TLD .de. Thus, Germany consistently ranks fourth in the world after the Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark.

Detailed online data available

You find comprehensive data and graphic material as well as the complete analysis in form of an Excel file for all the 401 cities and districts in the statistics section of the DENIC website. We also make available the annual analyses since 1995. In addition to absolute values, the statistics provide data on the number of domains related to the number of inhabitants, complemented by maps and diagrams showing the absolute and the relative distribution of domestic domains as well as of domain holders residing outside of Germany.