States with the most Fortune 500 companies

June 15, 2015, 1:21 PM UTC
San Francisco California skyline
San Francisco California skyline
Photograph by Getty Images

We know which U.S. states are the largest by population. We may even have a sense of which states have the most economic clout.

But which states are the biggest in business according to this year’s Fortune 500 list? Put another way: Which states have more of the largest corporations in America than any other?

In the heat map below, warmer colors like yellow, orange and red indicate the industries for which each state is well represented on this year’s Fortune 500.

Graphic created by Stacy Jones

Here are this year’s top five.

New York

No. Fortune 500 companies: 55

New York City.Tetra Images Getty Images/Tetra images RF
Photograph by Getty Images

They don’t call it the Empire State for nothing. New York is home to more Fortune 500 companies than any other state in the U.S. Not surprisingly for the city that Wall Street calls home, the financial services industry plays an oversized role. Companies like J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, American Express, and MasterCard help move money keep the economy ticking (while pocketing a tidy profit). New York is also a place where medium and message mingle. Telecommunications companies such as Time Warner, Cablevision, Viacom, and Verizon operate alongside content creators like CBS and 21st Century Fox.


No. Fortune 500 companies: 54

Houston.Gavin Hellier Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery
Photograph by Gavin Hellier—Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery

Know what’s bigger in Texas? Business. For the Lone Star state, that means one industry in particular. You guessed it: Oil. Home to the second-most Fortune 500 companies in the U.S., Texas oversees all parts of the energy production process. Mining and crude oil companies like Apache, Marathon Oil, and Pioneer Natural Resources surface the substance with help from equipment companies like Halliburton and Baker Hughes. Pipeline companies like Energy Transfer Equity, Enterprise Products Partners, and Kinder Morgan transport it. And, of course, petroleum companies like Exxon, Phillips 66, and HollyFrontier refine it. Yessir—black gold keeps Texan businesses in the black.


No. Fortune 500 companies: 53

San Francisco.Westend61—Getty Images
Photograph by Getty Images

The tech and entertainment capital of the United States, California has fostered a generation of inventive, devil-may-care entrepreneurs not content to perpetuate the strategies of the old corporate guard. The state continues to reshape the landscape of big business across the nation, rocking tradition and industry like one of the many earthquakes the region is known for. Anyone wired up in today’s world will be familiar with the computing giant Apple (AAPL) and the state’s big-hitters of the Internet: Google, Facebook, and Netflix. New to the list this year is the cloud-based business software company Salesforce (CRM), which has swelled by upheaving customer relationship management for most other Fortune 500 firms. But plenty more goes on behind scenes of the familiar names: Networking companies like Qualcomm (QCOM) and Cisco (CSCO) as well as semiconductor companies like Intel, Sanmina, and Advanced Micro Devices keep the computing revolution churning.


No. Fortune 500 companies: 34

Chicago.ElOjoTorpe Getty Images/Moment RM
Photograph by Getty Images/Moment RM

Food rules in the Prairie State. Producers and sellers such as Archer Daniels Midland, Walgreens Boots Alliance, US Foods, Ingredion, and Mondelez International help feed mouths abroad (and the state’s coffers at home). And then there are the companies that empower farmers and construction crews across the U.S., among them Caterpillar, Deere, and Illinois Tool Works. Agribusiness and its ecosystem of related companies are the big winners in the Land of Lincoln. As the old adage goes, you reap what you sow. In Illinois, it’s a revenue harvest.


No. Fortune 500 companies: 23

Columbus.John Hudson Photography Getty Images/Flickr RF
Photograph by Getty Images/Flickr RF

Don’t believe the rumors—the nucleus of the so-called Rust Belt has not lost its luster. The Buckeye State still teems with industrial might. Fortune 500 companies—among them metal manufacturer AK Steel Holding, chemical company Sherwin-Williams, glass-maker Owens Corning, and packager Owens-Illinois—rake in more than $600 billion in total revenue statewide. Ohio is even home to eminently recognizable Fortune 500 stalwarts like the general merchandiser Macy’s (M) and the consumer products giant Procter & Gamble (PG). Rust? Try revenue.

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