The world’s top 100 economies: 31 countries; 69 corporations

The campaigning NGO Global Justice Now (formerly World Development Movement) have done us all a favour by updating the table comparing the economic might of the largest countries and corporations. Headline finding?  ‘The number of businesses in the top 100 economic entities jumped to 69 in 2015 from 63 in the previous year’ according to the Guardian’s summary.

The last such table that I know of was produced by the World Bank, and became one of FP2P’s all time most read posts (it included cities as well as countries, which made it even more interesting).

People complained that the Bank table compared apples and pears – national GDP and corporate turnover. GJN have tried to do a better job by comparing government revenues (from the CIA World Factbook – always a treat to see an anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist NGO like GJN using that as a source), and corporate turnover (Fortune Global 500 – ditto). That reduces the country figure – in the case of Argentina, revenues come to about 30% of GDP, generally a higher slice for developed, and lower for poorer countries, and so boosts the relative importance of transnationals. Is that a fairer comparison? Over to the number crunchers on that one.

GJN released the figures in a pretty unfriendly format, so I tweeted to ask someone with more time/IT skills to tidy it up, and Jay Goulden kindly answered the call (I think he was on a particularly boring conference call or something). Thanks Jay.

Enjoy. Countries in black, corporates in the red (as if). The pattern that emerges is of a top tier of some dozen national economies, but below them, pretty soon you get into a sea of red corporates.

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5 Responses to “The world’s top 100 economies: 31 countries; 69 corporations”
  1. Great reference piece of info. We may be able to recall some of the stories that fly in the face of social justice underneath some or many of these numbers. It’s nice to think that Walmart left South Korea and Germany at some point. Germany’s citizens have played a major role in amplifying Renewable Energy Co-operatives, taking up Danish citizens earlier innovations, and inspiring RE co-op efforts around Europe and in the US, and even elsewhere. The MST of Brazil have conducted at least one workshop in hand-making wind turbines that looked suspiciously Danish in spirit. They have their productive activity organized in a number of co-ops according to various states and settlement communities there. Fair TRade certification also deserves mention, since it is reinforcing the co-op biz model in a number of diverse places.
    Otherwise, looking at the success of petroleum firms, we can only hope that efforts like Tesla in the US and Toyota’s hydrogen car will be part of movements including biogas vehicles by Ivenco of Sweden, renewable energy powering hydro buses in Hamburg, Germany, and similar efforts in the UK and elsewhere.

  2. Teri Maa ka

    Data you have mentioned here is too old… somewhere around 1990s please check India is now almost 2.8 trillion dollar economy and rest are also wrong

    • Murray Smith

      The last comment reflects a misunderstanding. As explained in the accompanying text, GJN compared corporate turnover figures to government revenues, not to GDP.