Fortune 500 List | Q&A

Fortune 500 List | Questions & Answers

Fortune 500 List

What is the criteria to make the Fortune 500?

To make it onto the Fortune 500 list, a company must meet several criteria set by Fortune magazine. These criteria primarily revolve around the company's total revenue. Here are the key requirements:

Revenue: The company must have a significant level of total annual revenue. The exact revenue threshold can vary from year to year, as it depends on the total revenues of all companies considered for the list. Generally, companies on the Fortune 500 list are among the largest revenue-generating corporations in the United States.

US Incorporation: The company must be incorporated and operate within the United States. Foreign companies, even if they have significant operations in the US, are not eligible for inclusion in the Fortune 500. However, subsidiaries of foreign companies that are separately incorporated in the US may qualify.

Publicly Traded: Typically, the Fortune 500 list includes only publicly traded companies. These are companies whose shares are traded on a stock exchange, allowing the public to buy and sell ownership stakes in the company. Private companies, regardless of their revenue, are not eligible for inclusion in the Fortune 500.

Financial Reporting: The company must provide sufficient financial information to allow Fortune magazine to assess its total revenue accurately. This requirement ensures transparency and reliability in compiling the list.

Fiscal Year-End: Fortune magazine typically considers a company's total revenue based on its fiscal year-end financial statements. This allows for consistency in comparing revenue figures across companies and industries.

The Fortune 500 list serves as a barometer of corporate success and influence in the United States, highlighting the largest and most prominent companies across various sectors. Meeting the criteria for inclusion in the Fortune 500 is considered prestigious and often signifies significant achievements in terms of revenue generation and market presence.



Are there private companies listed in the Fortune 500?

No, private companies are not listed in the Fortune 500. The Fortune 500 list specifically includes publicly traded corporations based on their total revenue. Private companies, regardless of their revenue or size, are not eligible for inclusion in the Fortune 500.

However, Fortune magazine does publish other lists, such as the "Fortune Global 500," which ranks the world's largest corporations by revenue, and the "Fortune 1000," which extends beyond the top 500 to include a broader range of companies based on revenue. These lists may include both publicly traded and privately held companies, providing insights into the global business landscape from different perspectives.



When does the Fortune 500 list come out?

The Fortune 500 list is typically released annually by Fortune magazine in the spring. The exact timing of the release can vary slightly from year to year, but it generally occurs around late May to early June.

Fortune magazine conducts extensive research and analysis to compile the Fortune 500 list, which ranks the top 500 corporations in the United States by total revenue. The list is eagerly anticipated by businesses, investors, analysts, and the general public as it provides insights into the largest and most influential companies in the country.

It's worth noting that while the Fortune 500 list is released annually, the data used for ranking companies is often from the previous fiscal year. This allows Fortune magazine to assess each company's financial performance and determine their rankings accurately. For example, the most current list was published in June 2023 and is based on 2022 fiscal year data.


When did the first Fortune 500 list come out?

The first Fortune 500 list was published by Fortune magazine in 1955. This inaugural list ranked the top 500 corporations in the United States by total revenue for the fiscal year. Since then, the Fortune 500 list has become an iconic and widely recognized benchmark of corporate success and influence, providing insights into the largest and most prominent companies in the country.


How much has the Fortune 500 list changed since 1955?

Since its inception in 1955, the Fortune 500 list has undergone significant changes reflecting the evolution of the business landscape, shifts in industries, economic trends, and advancements in technology. Some notable changes include:

Expansion of Industries: The Fortune 500 list has witnessed the rise of new industries and the decline of others. In the 1950s, industries such as manufacturing, oil, and automotive dominated the list. Over time, technology, finance, healthcare, and retail sectors have gained prominence.

Globalization: With globalization, the Fortune 500 list has increasingly included multinational corporations with operations spanning multiple countries. This reflects the interconnectedness of the global economy and the expansion of companies into international markets.

Technological Advancements: The advent of technology has led to the emergence of tech giants such as Apple, Google (Alphabet), Amazon, and Microsoft, which have risen to the top of the Fortune 500 rankings. These companies have disrupted traditional industries and reshaped the business landscape.

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Bankruptcies: The Fortune 500 list has seen numerous mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcies over the years, leading to fluctuations in company rankings and composition. Some companies have grown through acquisitions, while others have fallen due to financial challenges or industry disruption.

Diversity and Inclusion: There has been a growing emphasis on diversity and inclusion in corporate leadership, leading to increased representation of women and minorities among Fortune 500 CEOs. While progress has been made, disparities persist, and efforts to promote diversity continue.

Environmental and Social Responsibility: In recent years, there has been greater awareness of environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Companies are increasingly evaluated based on their environmental impact, social initiatives, and ethical practices, influencing their rankings on the Fortune 500 list.

The Fortune 500 list has evolved to reflect changes in the economy, society, and business environment. Despite these changes, the list remains a valuable tool for investors, analysts, and policymakers to understand corporate trends and dynamics in the United States.


What company has been on the Fortune 500 the longest?

The company that has been on the Fortune 500 list for the longest continuous period is General Electric (GE). General Electric was founded in 1892 by the merger of Edison General Electric Company and Thomson-Houston Electric Company. Since then, it has grown into one of the largest and most diversified conglomerates in the world.

GE Logo


General Electric has been a fixture on the Fortune 500 list since the list's inception in 1955. It has maintained its position on the list for over six decades, demonstrating its enduring presence and influence in the corporate world.

Despite facing various challenges and undergoing significant transformations over the years, General Electric's longevity on the Fortune 500 list highlights its resilience and adaptability as a company.



Have the Fortune 500 CEOs gotten more diverse?

Over time, there has been a gradual increase in diversity among Fortune 500 CEOs, although progress has been relatively slow. Historically, Fortune 500 CEOs have been predominantly male and Caucasian. However, efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in corporate leadership have led to greater representation of women and minorities in recent years.

Some key trends regarding diversity among Fortune 500 CEOs include:

Increase in Women CEOs: While women remain underrepresented in Fortune 500 CEO positions, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of women appointed to top executive roles in recent years. This reflects growing recognition of the importance of gender diversity in corporate leadership and efforts to break down barriers for women in the business world.

Rise of Minority CEOs: There has also been a gradual increase in the number of minority CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies. African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and other minority executives have been appointed to top leadership positions, contributing to greater diversity in the corporate boardroom.

Continued Disparities: Despite progress, disparities persist, particularly for women and minorities. Women and minority CEOs remain underrepresented compared to their white male counterparts, highlighting ongoing challenges related to bias, discrimination, and systemic barriers in corporate culture and leadership pipelines.

Focus on Inclusion and Equity: Many companies and organizations have recognized the importance of fostering inclusive workplaces and promoting equity in leadership opportunities. Efforts to address unconscious bias, improve diversity recruitment and retention practices, and provide leadership development opportunities for underrepresented groups are essential for driving meaningful change.

While there is still much work to be done to achieve full diversity and inclusion in Fortune 500 CEO positions, the gradual increase in representation of women and minorities is a positive step forward. Continued efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in corporate leadership will be crucial for creating more equitable and representative workplaces in the future.


Where can I download a list of the Fortune 500 companies?

You can access the Fortune 500 list directly from databahn's website. Databahn makes the list available annually, and for viewing or download on the website. Here are the steps to access the list:

Visit the databahn website: Go to the databahn website at databahn.com.

Navigate to the Fortune 500 section: Look for the "Lists" or "Rankings" section on the website's menu. From there, you should find a link to the Fortune 500 list.

Access the list: Once you're on the Fortune 500 list page, you may have the option to view the list online or download it as a spreadsheet file.

Download the list: There will be an option to download the list, click on the download link, and follow the prompts to save the file to your computer or device.

Review the list: Once the list is downloaded, you can open it using a compatible program (e.g., Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice for spreadsheet files) to view the Fortune 500 companies and their respective rankings.

Fortune 500 list

Download the Fortune 500 list



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