Fortune 500

The 500 largest companies in the United States according to revenue

Over 1.8 million professionals use CFI to learn accounting, financial analysis, modeling and more. Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets.

What is the Fortune 500?

Fortune 500

The Fortune 500 is an annual list of the top 500 United States companies by total revenues – public and private included. The Fortune 500 list is compiled and published annually every spring by Fortune Magazine, which is based in New York City. Edgar Smith, a Fortune editor, created the Fortune 500 concept, with the first list of companies getting published in 1955.

Key Highlights

  • The Fortune 500 is a prestigious list of the top 500 companies in the United States as ranked by revenue. Another ranking, the Fortune Global 500, lists the top 500 companies worldwide.
  • Introduced in 1955, to be listed among the Fortune 500 companies is a mark of stature among the most successful companies.
  • The change in composition to the list is also useful for economists who look to study changes to the corporate landscape in the U.S. and around the world.

How is This List Different From the Fortune Global 500?

In 1990, Fortune introduced the Fortune Global 500 ranking, which tracks the world’s largest corporations on an annual basis as measured by total revenue, whereas the Fortune 500 is comprised of exclusively U.S. corporations.

What Does Making the Fortune 500 Mean?

Companies are ranked by total revenues for their respective fiscal years ended on or before March 31 of the year prior. To make the Fortune 500, the company must be one of the highest-earning companies in America, earning them a special cachet.

Besides being a mark of prestige for the businesses included in its ranks, the Fortune 500 is often used as a benchmark to analyze the evolution of U.S. businesses and the country’s economy.

How is the Fortune 500 Different From the S&P 500

Unlike the S&P 500 index, which also tracks the largest companies in the United States, the Fortune 500 also includes large private companies. The S&P index is maintained by the S&P Index Committee, which selects companies based on different factors, including market capitalization, sector allocation, and liquidity.

The S&P 500 index is also one of the most well-known and used benchmarks, so many fund managers will construct mutual funds or ETFs that aim to mimic the behavior of the S&P 500 index. However, since the Fortune 500 contains private companies, it is not often used as a benchmark or index.


Fortune uses revenue figures for companies derived from published financial data only. All companies on the list are also required to have provided all or some of their figures to a government agency to ensure legitimacy.

Definition of Revenues

Revenue figures include consolidated subsidiaries and reported revenues from discontinued operations but exclude excise taxes. For banks, revenue is the sum of gross interest income and gross non-interest income. For insurance companies, revenue includes premium and annuity income, investment income, realized capital gains or losses, and other income, but excludes deposits.

The Changing Composition of the Fortune 500

Between 1955 and 1994, only manufacturing and industrial companies were included in the Fortune 500 listings. So, it was no surprise that the early rankings were dominated by the manufacturing industry as well as the oil and gas industries, with companies such as General Motors, the United States Steel Corporation, and Gulf Oil regularly in the top 10.

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 the new Fortune Global 500 to compile a list of top industrial corporations across the world ranked by revenue.

Starting in 1995, both manufacturing and service firms (including retailers like Walmart, AT&T Corporation, and financial services firms, like Berkshire Hathaway) were included in the Fortune 500. Today’s list includes technology companies such as Alphabet, Amazon, and Apple.

A List of the 2023 Top Fortune 500 Companies

The top 20 Fortune 500 companies are as follows:

2023 Top Fortune 500 Companies

Some of the largest retailers, such as Walmart and CVS Health, are on the list, as well as many oil companies, such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron. The healthcare industry is also very well represented on the list.

How Much Revenue Does It Take To Make the Fortune 500?

In the latest 2023 version of the Fortune 500 list, the lowest total revenue required to make the list was in excess of $7.2 billion U.S. dollars.

Other Key Statistics

  • In 2023, the revenues from Fortune 500 companies represent two-thirds of the entire U.S. economy, as represented by GDP, with $18 trillion in revenues. This figure is up 13% from 2022.
  • Profits, on the other hand, were down 15%, falling for the second time in the past three years.
  • Fifty-two companies on the 2023 Fortune 500 are led by women CEOs — an all-time high, up from 44 last year.
  • Walmart holds onto its rank as No. 1 for the 11th straight year.
  • Apple remains the company with the best profits on the list for the eighth time in the past nine years.
  • Texas holds onto its spot as home to the most Fortune 500 company headquarters for its second year. California, at No. 2 with 53 companies, bumped New York to No. 3 with 50.

The Changing U.S. Corporate Landscape

In addition to revenue and industry classification, the Fortune 500 also tracks the profits, valuation, location, and employee count for companies on its list, which makes the list important for economic research, where it shows changes to the corporate landscape over the past seven decades.

Of the original Fortune 500 list in 1955, only 52 of those companies are on the 2023 version of the list.

Since the publication of the original Fortune 500 companies in 1955, economists have observed that the largest U.S. companies have shifted from major metropolitan areas like New York City to other states, such as Texas and California.

The ranking also highlights the evolution of the growing or declining importance of certain industries, such as the rise of healthcare, tech, and the internet.

Additional Types of Lists Published by Fortune Magazine

Today, Fortune Magazine is an internationally renowned business media brand with a multinational monthly magazine, a website, and a host of conference series featuring the world’s most influential individuals. However, while it is undoubtedly best renowned for its “Fortune 500″ lists, it also publishes a variety of other prestigious lists, including:

  • 100 Best Companies To Work For: A list of U.S. companies that are deemed (using data from analytics firm Great Place to Work) to be the best (in terms of happiness and perks) for employees to work at.
  • World’s Most Admired Companies: A list of companies that are the most admired (through gathering data from over 3,750 executives, analysts, directors, and experts).
  • Most Powerful Women: A list of female individuals who are the most powerful (influential). There are four criteria: (1) the size and importance of the woman’s business in the global economy, (2) the direction and health of the business, (3) the woman’s career, and (4) cultural and social influence.
  • 40 Under 40: A list of influential young leaders.
  • World’s 50 Great Leaders: A list of individuals that are transforming business, government, and philanthropy.
  • Fortune 500 Europe: Introduced in 2023, this list features businesses from 24 different European countries responsible for revenues of $13.94 trillion.
  • Fortune China 500: The Fortune China 500 list ranks the country’s largest companies by revenue.

To keep learning and advancing your career, the following resources will be helpful:


0 search results for ‘