Fortune Global 500

Every year, Fortune magazine publishes a list of the 500 top companies in the world, called the Fortune Global 500. The current Fortune Global 500 can be seen online.

Up until the late 1990s, Japanese companies held the top three positions and eleven of the top twenty. And even in 2001, there were still more than 20 Japanese companies in the Top 100 (see below). But a prolonged recession and the effects of deregulation have affected these corporations pretty radically. This combined with the continued growth of the US and Chinese economies helped push American, Chinese and global petroleum companies into the top spots.

The world's 500 largest companies generated $31.2 trillion in revenues and $1.7 trillion in profits in 2014. Together, this year's Fortune Global 500 employ 65 million people worldwide and are represented by 36 countries.

As of 2015, Japanese companies make up 54 of the Top 500. Currently the only high-ranking Japanese company is Toyota Motor Corporation at No.9. And the only other companies ranking in the Top 100 are Japan Post Holdings (No.38), Honda Motors (No.44), Nissan Motor (No.59), NTT (No.65), Hitachi (No.89), and JX Holdings (No.92).

Below is a table showing the Top 100 companies in the Global 500 as it stood in 2001.

List of the Fortune Global 500 (top 50)