The Fortune 500 is an annual list published by Fortune magazine that ranks the largest companies in the United States by total revenue. The list has been published since 1955 and has become a symbol of corporate success and prestige.
To qualify for the Fortune 500, a company must be based in the United States and must have generated at least $5.4 billion in revenue in the most recent fiscal year. The rankings are based on total revenue, which includes sales, profits, and other income.
The Fortune 500 is widely regarded as a barometer of the health and vitality of the U.S. economy. The companies on the list represent a diverse range of industries, including technology, healthcare, finance, energy, and retail. Many of the companies on the list are household names, such as Apple, Amazon, Walmart, and ExxonMobil.
The Fortune 500 is also a measure of corporate power and influence. The companies on the list are among the largest employers in the United States and often have a significant impact on the communities where they operate. Many of the companies on the list are also major players in the global economy and have significant influence on world events.
In addition to the main Fortune 500 list, Fortune magazine also publishes several related lists, including the Fortune Global 500 (which ranks the largest companies in the world by revenue), the Fortune 1000 (which ranks the largest companies in the United States by revenue, regardless of whether they are publicly traded or privately held), and the Fortune Future 50 (which ranks companies based on their potential for long-term growth).
The Fortune 500 has faced some criticism in recent years for its focus on revenue as the sole measure of corporate success. Critics argue that the list does not take into account other important factors, such as social and environmental responsibility, and that it can incentivize companies to prioritize short-term financial gains over long-term sustainability.
Overall, the Fortune 500 remains an important benchmark for the U.S. economy and a symbol of corporate success and influence. The companies on the list represent a diverse range of industries and have a significant impact on the world around them.