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Fortune 500 Companies List
The term Fortune 500 refers to a list of 500 of the largest companies in the United States compiled by Forbes magazine every year. Companies are ranked by their annual revenues for their respective fiscal years. This list includes both public and private companies using publicly available revenue data. To be a Fortune 500 company is widely considered to be a mark of prestige.
- The Fortune 500 is an annual list of 500 of the largest US companies ranked by total revenues for their respective fiscal years.
- The list is compiled and published by Fortune Magazine.
- Being on the Fortune 500 is considered to be prestigious—firms on the list are considered to be of high quality.
- The Fortune 500 has put out a list of top companies since the year 1955.
Understanding the Fortune 500
Fortune magazine was founded in 1929 by Henry Robinson Luce.1 The first issue was published the following year and has since become one of the world’s leading business publications. Originally printed monthly, the magazine put out 16 issues every year and also has a major presence online.
The magazine compiled its first list of the most successful American companies—both public and private—in 1955. It was created by editor Edgar P. Smith in an effort to measure the size and power of American businesses during a time when the country’s economic power was “the envy of the world.”2 Originally called the Fortune Industrial 500, the name of the list was shortened to Fortune 500.
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