It should come as no surprise that the United States is the world leader in hosting websites. But just how many of the world’s top sites are hosted in the US? Following our study of web hosting in Africa, we now broaden the perspective and can announce that 43% of the world’s top 1 million websites are hosted in the United States.
Top 20 web hosting countries
After checking the IP addresses of the top 1 million websites as ranked by Alexa, we put them in order of how many websites are hosted in each country. You can read a bit more about our methodology at the end of the article.
In total, we identified 191 countries as hosting one or more sites in the top 1 million, with the following 20 in the top:
As you can see, the US is in a clear lead with 431,214 sites, followed by Germany with 82,152, China with 49,730, UK with 37,829, and France with 35,777. In 20th place we find South Korea with 5,659 websites hosted out of the top 1 million.
This is certainly a long tail if there ever was one
Europe vs US
With the US in such a commanding lead, it would, of course, be interesting to see how it compares to other parts of the world. One of the obvious comparisons would be with Europe. Here’s what that comparison looks like:
Even compared to the countries in Europe combined, the US is still considerably larger, with 431,214 sites compared to the 313,252 in Europe.
You may have noted that Europe and the US together claim around 75% of the top 1 million sites.
Top 100 countries
Here are the top 100 countries, which host the most sites in the top 1 million:
|Country||Number of sites hosted|
|36||British Virgin Islands||2,245|
|67||United Arab Emirates||279|
|85||Bosnia and Herzegovina||92|
Will the rest catch up to the US?
Alexa may not be the definitive list to go by, but, at the very least, it should give a good indication of what the real numbers are. We doubt anyone is surprised that the US is in the lead, but it’s interesting to see how the countries seem to jockey for positions. Also, we just looked at the top 1 million sites, which is just a small fraction of all websites that exist.
We will keep an eye on this issue and see how it develops over the coming months and years.
Do you think that, over time, the US will lose some of its importance in terms of web hosting and we’ll see more top sites hosted outside the US? Let us know in the comments below.
About the data: The data was collected June 6-8, 2012, with a Pingdom-developed script that successfully scanned 945,472 out of Alexa’s top 1 million sites. The remaining sites failed for various reasons. We should point out that web hosting is a constantly moving target, so where a particular site is hosted may have changed by the time you read this.
Image (top) via Shutterstock.