Pretty interesting and insightful article on Priceonomics blog on how TLD can correlate with a complex situation in the real world.
Some notable quotes:
It was also decided that some top level domains would correspond to the geographic location of a computer. These are known as country code top level domains. The first of these country code TLDs were: .us (US), .uk (UK), and .il (Israel) in 1985, followed by .au (Australia), .de (Germany), .fi (Finland), .fr (France), .jp (Japan), .kr (Korea), .nl (Nederlands) and .se (Sweden). All the countries the International Standards Organization listed in the ISO-3166 got their own domain, provided there was an appropriate entity to claim authority over it.
The government domains are distributed between the two parties and it depends on who has the password which allows them to change the details of the domain.
The nation of Tuvalu licensed their suffix, “.tv”, to Verisign in exchange for $10 million up front, and $2.2 million annually. That annual fee makes up about 10% of the small island government’s total revenue. Tuvalu’s government has literally paved their streets with domain name money.
Britain’s history of colonialism over the 1,000+ tiny islands that make up the British Indian Ocean Territory is complex, and it isn’t clear where the registry money is going nor whom it benefits.