The Fortune Global 500, also known as Global 500, is an annual ranking of the top 500 corporations worldwide as measured by revenue and the list is compiled and published annually by Fortune magazine.


Until 1989, it listed only non-United States industrial corporations under the title "International 500" while the Fortune 500 contained and still contains exclusively United States corporations. In 1990, United States companies were added to compile a truly global list of top industrial corporations as ranked by sales. Since 1995, the list has had its current form, listing also top financial corporations and service providers by revenue.


Several inconsistencies exist in Fortune's ranking of cities with the most Fortune 500 headquarters. On June 3, 2011, the Atlanta Business Chronicle stated examples of Fortune including regional headquarters for some cities, not including regional headquarters for other cities and in some cases not including headquarters that are physically located inside a city limit.[1]

Geographical distribution

Since 2001, there has been a significant change in the geographical distribution of the companies in the Global 500 rankings. The number of North American-based companies decreased from 215 in 2001 to 143 in 2017 and the contribution of Asian-based companies increased rapidly from 116 in 2001 to 197 in 2017. Most of this growth is accounted for by the rapid increase in the number of Chinese Global 500 companies, of which there were 109 by 2017 (the number becomes 115 if Taiwan is included), increasing from only 10 in 2001. The share of European-based companies also reduced, from 158 to 143, over the same period.[2][3][4]

Fortune Global 500 list of year 2017

The following is the list of top 10 companies.[5][6]

Rank Company Country Industry Revenue in USD
1 Walmart  United States Retail $466 billion
2 State Grid  China Power $315 billion
3 Sinopec Group  China Petroleum $268 billion
4 China National Petroleum  China Petroleum $263 billion
5 Toyota Motor  Japan Automobiles $255 billion
6 Volkswagen  Germany Automobiles $240 billion
7 Royal Dutch Shell  Netherlands (United Kingdom) † Petroleum $240 billion
8 Berkshire Hathaway  United States Products $224 billion
9 Apple  United States Technology $216 billion
10 Exxon Mobil  United States Petroleum $205 billion

Fortune had previously listed Shell as a British/Dutch company, but as of the 2016 listing it is listed as Dutch.

Breakdown by country

As of November 2017, this is the list of the top 10 countries with the most Global 500 companies.[7]

Rank Country Companies
1  United States 133
2  China 109
3  Japan 51
4  France 29
5  Germany 29
6  United Kingdom 21
7  South Korea 15
8  Netherlands 15
9   Switzerland 13
10  Canada 11

The Global 500 includes Unilever under the heading "Britain/Netherlands", as the company is counted in the tally for both countries.

As can be seen from the table above, 425 (85.0%) of the Global 500 are represented by only 10 countries: two in North America (Canada and United States), five in Western Europe (France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and United Kingdom) and three in East Asia (China, Japan and South Korea). Moreover, the top six (United States, China, Japan, France, Germany and United Kingdom) are some of the world's largest economies as estimated by the IMF (List of countries by GDP (nominal)). Among the Fortune Global 500, 371 companies (74.2%) are from these six countries. According to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2016, the adult citizens of these six countries own approximately 67% of the world's total household wealth.[8]

By industry sector

The top-ranked companies in each industry sector are as follows.

Sector Company Headquarters Overall
Aerospace & Defense Boeing United States Chicago 0060#60 94,571
Apparel Christian Dior France Paris 0234#234 42,113
Business services The Adecco Group Switzerland Zürich 0434#434 25,112
Chemicals BASF Germany Ludwigshafen 0126#126 63,641
Energy State Grid Corporation of China China Beijing 0002#2 315,199
Engineering & Construction China State Construction Engineering China Beijing 0024#24 144,505
Financials Berkshire Hathaway United States Omaha 0008#8 223,604
Food & Drug Stores Walgreens Boots Alliance United States Deerfield 0037#37 117,351
Food, Beverages & Tobacco Nestlé Switzerland Vevey 0064#64 90,814
Health Care UnitedHealth Group United States Minnetonka 0013#13 184,840
Household Products Procter & Gamble United States Cincinnati 0098#98 71,726
Industrials General Electric United States Boston 0031#31 126,661
Materials China Minmetals China Beijing 0120#120 65,547
Media The Walt Disney Company United States Burbank 0161#161 55,632
Motor Vehicles & Parts Toyota Japan Toyota 0005#5 254,694
Retailing Walmart United States Bentonville 0001#1 485,873
Technology Apple United States Cupertino 0009#9 215,639
Telecommunications AT&T United States Dallas 0019#19 163,786
Transportation U.S. Postal Service United States Washington, D.C. 0099#99 71,498
Wholesalers McKesson United States San Francisco 0011#11 198,533

See also


  1. ^ Maria Saporta. "Some cities rankings are overstated". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "A New Perspective on the Corporate World". CNN Money, Fortune Magazine. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Visualize The Global 500". Fortune. 
  4. ^ Fortune 500 companies list: 40% of Fortune 500 companies Asian, India has 7 in list - Times of India
  5. ^ http://fortune.com/global500/
  6. ^ "Global 500". Fortune. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Global 500 2017". Fortune.  Number of companies data taken from the "Country" box.
  8. ^ Credit Suisse Publikationen

External links