IDN levels

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As of December 2018, there were 3.4 million top level IDNs (an increase of 35% since December 2017) and 5.5 million second level IDNs (an increase of 4% or 200,000 since December 2017).*

Top Level IDNs

Top Level (or full) IDNs have a non-ASCII Top Level Domain, and have the potential to use the same script across the entire domain name.  A few Top Level IDNs allow ASCII characters as the domain label.  For the purposes of this report we count all domains registered under an IDN Top Level as IDNs.

пример.рф             例如.中国              example.中国

Second Level IDNs

Second level IDNs have a non-ASCII label under an ASCII TLD.

例如.com                                                 dæmi.eu

Second level IDNs have been available since 2000, both in the ccTLD and gTLD spaces.  Latin script IDNs (eg with accents and diacritics) have a natural affinity with ASCII TLDs such as .com or .eu.

It was not possible to register full ccTLD IDNs until 2009, when IDN strings were allowed into the root IANA database through the ccTLD IDN Fast Track process.

At the gTLD level, gTLD operators had to wait for ICANN to open the call for a new gTLD round to be empowered to submit applications for IDN TLDs, which occurred in 2012.

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In December 2018, 61% of registered IDNs were at the second level, and 39% were at the top level. During 2018, the updated figures for .中国 top level IDNs contributed to the growth in top level domain share from 29% in December 2017.

*Differences in the combined total of IDNs at the top and second levels, and the total reported number of IDNS are due to rounding.