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.
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.
|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|
|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.
As of November 2017, this is the list of the top 10 countries with the most Global 500 companies.
|6||United Kingdom †||21|
† 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.