Everything You Need to Know About the Global 500 in 6 Charts

July 22, 2016, 1:00 PM UTC

The Fortune Global 500, our annual list of the world’s largest corporations, represent the best in global business. In 2015, revenue for the Global 500 declined 11.5% to $27.6 trillion, and total profit declined 11.2% to $1.5 trillion. The decreases are largely the result of the oil glut and all-time lows for crude prices—last year, mining, oil producers, and metal companies lost a combined $70 billion on $1.3 trillion in revenue. And a strong U.S. dollar also cut into the revenues for U.S.-based corporations operating abroad. For more about the economic impact of the almighty buck, read How a Spike in the Value of the Dollar is Hurting the U.S. Economy.

In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about the Global 500 in six handy charts.



For the second year in a row, total shareholder equity shrank for the Global 500, by 2.6% to $14.7 billion. The last time it grew was 2013, when it climbed 6.4% to $14.5 billion.


For the entire Global 500, profits were down again last year, by 11.2%, with a combined total net income of $1.5 trillion. Last year, 65 companies in the Global 500 reported combined losses of $184 billion. The median loss was $1.1 billion.


Fortune Global 500 companies had revenues that equaled 37.8% of World GDP—down from 40.1% last year. Over the past 20 years, the 500 largest companies in the world have grown at a slower rate than World GDP.


In 2015, revenue for the 500 largest global corporations dropped 11.5% to $27.6 trillion, owing to falling oil prices and in part by the surge in value of the U.S. dollar, which has stalled economic growth worldwide. Last year, 360 companies in the Global 500 saw a decline in revenue from the previous year.


There are 12 women CEOs in the Fortune Global 500 this year, down from 14 last year. Carol Meyrowitz stepped down but as CEO of American retailer TJX, but will stay on as executive chairman for three more years. DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman retired last October as the result of the impending merger with Dow Chemical, and Hindustan Petroleum CEO Nishi Vasudeva retired in March of this year. The one new female executive in the Global 500 is Isabelle Kocher, CEO of French energy giant Engie (No. 89), which was formerly known as GDF Suez before being rebranded last year.


The Fortune Global 500 companies employ 67 million people worldwide. The industry with the most employees is commercial and savings banks, which employ more than 6.8 million people, or roughly 10.3% of the Global 500. The automotive industry is the second largest, with 5.3 million workers worldwide.

To see which 23 companies are new to the Global 500 list this year, check out the full list at fortune.com/global 500, where you can also find interactive graphics, more charts, company profiles, and much more.