The Fortune Global 500, also known as Global 500, is an annual ranking of the top 500 corporations worldwide as measured by revenue. The list is compiled and published annually by Fortune magazine.
Until 1989, it listed only non-US industrial corporations under the title "International 500" while the Fortune 500 contained and still contains exclusively US corporations. In 1990, U.S. 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.
From 2001 to 2012, there was 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 144 in 2011, and the contribution of Asian-based companies increased rapidly from 116 in 2001 to 188 in 2012. Most of this growth is accounted for by the rapid increase in the number of Chinese Global 500 companies, of which there were 103 by 2015 (increasing from only 10 in 2001, if Taiwan is included, the total number is 110 in the year 2016). The share of European-based companies increased marginally, from 158 to 160, over the decade.
The rankings, which have been released by the magazine at its website, appear in the July 20, 2016, issue of the magazine.
The following is the list of top 10 companies, as published on July 20, 2016. It is based on the companies' fiscal year ended on or before March 31, 2016.
† Fortune had previously listed Shell as a Dutch company, but as of the 2013 listing, it is listed as British/Dutch.
This is the list of the top 10 countries with the most Global 500 companies.
† The Global 500 includes 1 company under the heading "Britain/Netherlands". That company is counted in the tally for both countries.
According to the Fortune website, as of 2016 the Global 500 are represented by a total of 33 countries. As can be seen from the table above, however, 425 (85%) of the Global 500 are represented by only 11 countries: two in North America (Canada, USA,) five in Western Europe (France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, UK,) and four in East Asia (China, Japan, South Korea,Taiwan). Of these 11 countries, the top six are the world's largest economies as estimated by the IMF (List of countries by GDP (nominal)) and, with the exception of China, are also members of the G7 (which also includes Italy and Canada.) According to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2015, the adult citizens of these six countries own approximately 49% of the world's household wealth.