The Biggest Companies in the World
View the high-resolution of the infographic by clicking here.
Since the COVID-19 crash, global equity markets have seen a strong recovery. The 100 biggest companies in the world were worth a record-breaking $31.7 trillion as of March 31 2021, up 48% year-over-year. As a point of comparison, the combined GDP of the U.S. and China was $35.7 trillion in 2020.
In today’s graphic, we use PwC data to show the world’s biggest businesses by market capitalization, as well as the countries and sectors they are from.
The Top 100, Ranked
PwC ranked the largest publicly-traded companies by their market capitalization in U.S. dollars. It’s also worth noting that sector classification is based on the FTSE Russell Industry Classification Benchmark, and a company’s location is based on where its headquarters are located.
Here is the top 100 ranking of the biggest companies in the world, organized from the biggest to the smallest.
|Rank||Company name||Location||Sector||Market Capitalization|
|1||APPLE INC||🇺🇸 United States||Technology||$2.1T|
|2||SAUDI ARAMCO||🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||Energy||$1.9T|
|3||MICROSOFT CORP||🇺🇸 United States||Technology||$1.8T|
|4||AMAZON.COM INC||🇺🇸 United States||Consumer Discretionary||$1.6T|
|5||ALPHABET INC||🇺🇸 United States||Technology||$1.4T|
|6||FACEBOOK INC||🇺🇸 United States||Technology||$839B|
|8||TESLA INC||🇺🇸 United States||Consumer Discretionary||$641B|
|9||ALIBABA GRP||🇨🇳 China||Consumer Discretionary||$615B|
|10||BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY||🇺🇸 United States||Financials||$588B|
|12||VISA INC||🇺🇸 United States||Industrials||$468B|
|13||JPMORGAN CHASE||🇺🇸 United States||Financials||$465B|
|14||JOHNSON & JOHNSON||🇺🇸 United States||Health Care||$433B|
|15||SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS||🇰🇷 South Korea||Technology||$431B|
|16||KWEICHOW MOUTA||🇨🇳 China||Consumer Staples||$385B|
|17||WALMART INC||🇺🇸 United States||Consumer Discretionary||$383B|
|18||MASTERCARD INC||🇺🇸 United States||Industrials||$354B|
|19||UNITEDHEALTH GRP||🇺🇸 United States||Health Care||$352B|
|20||LVMH MOET HENNESSY||🇫🇷 France||Consumer Discretionary||$337B|
|21||WALT DISNEY CO||🇺🇸 United States||Consumer Discretionary||$335B|
|22||BANK OF AMERICA||🇺🇸 United States||Financials||$334B|
|23||PROCTER & GAMBLE||🇺🇸 United States||Consumer Staples||$333B|
|24||NVIDIA CORP||🇺🇸 United States||Technology||$331B|
|25||HOME DEPOT INC||🇺🇸 United States||Consumer Discretionary||$329B|
|26||NESTLE SA||🇨🇭 Switzerland||Consumer Staples||$322B|
|27||IND & COMM BK||🇨🇳 China||Financials||$290B|
|28||PAYPAL HOLDINGS||🇺🇸 United States||Industrials||$284B|
|29||ROCHE HOLDING||🇨🇭 Switzerland||Health Care||$283B|
|30||INTEL CORP||🇺🇸 United States||Technology||$261B|
|31||ASML HOLDING NV||🇳🇱 Netherlands||Technology||$255B|
|32||TOYOTA MOTOR||🇯🇵 Japan||Consumer Discretionary||$254B|
|33||COMCAST CORP||🇺🇸 United States||Telecommunications||$248B|
|34||VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS||🇺🇸 United States||Telecommunications||$241B|
|35||EXXON MOBIL CORP||🇺🇸 United States||Energy||$236B|
|36||NETFLIX INC||🇺🇸 United States||Consumer Discretionary||$231B|
|37||ADOBE INC||🇺🇸 United States||Technology||$228B|
|38||COCA-COLA CO||🇺🇸 United States||Consumer Staples||$227B|
|40||PING AN||🇨🇳 China||Financials||$219B|
|41||CISCO SYSTEMS||🇺🇸 United States||Telecommunications||$218B|
|42||AT&T INC||🇺🇸 United States||Financials||$216B|
|43||L'OREAL||🇫🇷 France||Consumer Discretionary||$215B|
|45||ABBOTT LABS||🇺🇸 United States||Health Care||$212B|
|46||NOVARTIS AG||🇨🇭 Switzerland||Health Care||$212B|
|47||NIKE INC||🇺🇸 United States||Consumer Discretionary||$209B|
|48||ORACLE CORP||🇺🇸 United States||Technology||$202B|
|49||PFIZER INC||🇺🇸 United States||Health Care||$202B|
|50||CHEVRON CORP||🇺🇸 United States||Oil & Gas||$202B|
|51||CHINA MERCH||🇨🇳 China||Financials||$196B|
|52||PEPSICO INC||🇺🇸 United States||Consumer Staples||$195B|
|53||SALESFORCE.COM||🇺🇸 United States||Technology||$195B|
|54||MERCK & CO||🇺🇸 United States||Health Care||$195B|
|55||ABBVIE INC||🇺🇸 United States||Health Care||$191B|
|56||BROADCOM INC||🇺🇸 United States||Technology||$189B|
|57||PROSUS NV||🇳🇱 Netherlands||Technology||$181B|
|58||RELIANCE INDS||🇮🇳 India||Energy||$180B|
|59||THERMO FISHER||🇺🇸 United States||Health Care||$180B|
|60||ELI LILLY & CO||🇺🇸 United States||Health Care||$179B|
|61||AGRICULTURAL BANK OF|
|62||SOFTBANK GROUP||🇯🇵 Japan||Telecommunications||$176B|
|63||ACCENTURE PLC||🇮🇪 Ireland||Industrials||$176B|
|64||TEXAS INSTRUMENT||🇺🇸 United States||Technology||$174B|
|65||MCDONALDS CORP||🇺🇸 United States||Consumer Discretionary||$167B|
|66||VOLKSWAGEN AG||🇩🇪 Germany||Consumer Discretionary||$165B|
|67||BHP GROUP LTD||🇦🇺 Australia||Basic Materials||$163B|
|68||WELLS FARGO & CO||🇺🇸 United States||Financials||$162B|
|69||TATA CONSULTANCY||🇮🇳 India||Technology||$161B|
|70||DANAHER CORP||🇺🇸 United States||Health Care||$160B|
|71||NOVO NORDISK||🇩🇰 Denmark||Health Care||$160B|
|72||MEDTRONIC PLC||🇮🇪 Ireland||Health Care||$159B|
|73||WULIANGYE YIBI||🇨🇳 China||Consumer Staples||$159B|
|74||COSTCO WHOLESALE||🇺🇸 United States||Consumer Discretionary||$156B|
|75||T-MOBILE US INC||🇺🇸 United States||Telecommunications||$156B|
|76||CITIGROUP INC||🇺🇸 United States||Financials||$152B|
|77||HONEYWELL INTL||🇺🇸 United States||Industrials||$151B|
|78||QUALCOMM INC||🇺🇸 United States||Technology||$151B|
|79||SAP SE||🇩🇪 Germany||Technology||$151B|
|80||BOEING CO||🇺🇸 United States||Industrials||$149B|
|81||ROYAL DUTCH SHELL||🇳🇱 Netherlands||Oil & Gas||$148B|
|82||NEXTERA ENERGY||🇺🇸 United States||Utilities||$148B|
|83||UNITED PARCEL||🇺🇸 United States||Industrials||$148B|
|84||UNION PAC CORP||🇺🇸 United States||Industrials||$148B|
|85||UNILEVER PLC||🇬🇧 United Kingdom||Consumer Staples||$147B|
|86||AIA||🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR||Financials||$147B|
|87||LINDE PLC||🇬🇧 United Kingdom||Basic Materials||$146B|
|88||AMGEN INC||🇺🇸 United States||Health Care||$144B|
|89||BRISTOL-MYER SQB||🇺🇸 United States||Health Care||$141B|
|90||SIEMENS AG||🇩🇪 Germany||Industrials||$140B|
|91||BANK OF CHINA||🇨🇳 China||Financials||$139B|
|92||PHILIP MORRIS INC||🇺🇸 United States||Consumer Staples||$138B|
|93||LOWE'S COS INC||🇺🇸 United States||Consumer Discretionary||$136B|
|🇺🇸 United States||Telecommunications||$135B|
|95||CHINA MOBILE||🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR||Telecommunications||$134B|
|96||SONY GROUP CORP||🇯🇵 Japan||Consumer Discretionary||$132B|
|97||ASTRAZENECA PLC||🇬🇧 United Kingdom||Health Care||$131B|
|98||ROYAL BANK OF CANADA||🇨🇦 Canada||Financials||$131B|
|99||STARBUCKS CORP||🇺🇸 United States||Consumer Discretionary||$129B|
|100||ANHEUSER-BUSCH||🇧🇪 Belgium||Consumer Staples||$128B|
Note: Data as of March 31, 2021.
Within the ranking, there was a wide disparity in value. Apple was worth over $2 trillion, more than 16 times that of Anheuser-Busch (AB InBev), which took the 100th spot at $128 billion.
In total, 59 companies were headquartered in the United States, making up 65% of the top 100’s total market capitalization. China and its regions was the second most common location for company headquarters, with 14 companies on the list.
Risers and Fallers
What are some of the notable changes to the biggest companies in the world compared to last year’s ranking?
Tesla’s market capitalization surged by an eye-watering 565%, temporarily making Elon Musk the richest person in the world. Food delivery platform Meituan and PayPal benefited from growing e-commerce popularity with their market capitalizations growing by 221% and 151% respectively.
Tech companies TSMC and ASML Holdings were also among the top 10 risers, thanks to a shortage of semiconductor chips and growing demand.
On the other end of the scale, Swiss companies Nestlé, Novartis, and Roche Holding were all among the bottom 10 companies by market capitalization growth. China Mobile was the only company to decline with a -12% change. The company was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange as a result of an executive order issued by former president Donald Trump, and recently announced its intention to list on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
A Sector View
Across the 100 biggest companies in the world, some sectors had higher weightings.
|Sector||Total Market Cap in Top 100||% of Top 100 Market Cap||Number of Companies in Top 100|
Technology had the highest market capitalization and was also the most common sector, with Big Tech dominating the top 10. Companies in the consumer discretionary, financials, and health care sectors also had a strong representation in the ranking.
Despite having only five companies on the list, the energy sector amounted to almost 10% of the top 100’s market capitalization, mostly due to Saudi Aramco’s whopping valuation.
An Uncertain Recovery
From near market lows on March 31, 2020, all sectors saw increases in their market capitalization. However, top 100 companies in some sectors outperformed their respective industry index, while others did not.
Basic materials and industrials, both cyclical sectors, were high performers in the top 100 and outperformed their respective industry indexes. Technology companies also outperformed, and accounted for $255 billion or 31% of all shareholder distributions by the top 100, far more than any other sector. Apple alone spent $73 billion on share buybacks and $14 billion in dividends in the 2020 calendar year.
On the other hand, the worst-performing sectors in the top 100 were health care, utilities, and energy. While the index performance for health care and utilities was also relatively poor, the wider energy sector performed fairly well.
It’s perhaps not surprising that all sectors saw positive returns since their low levels in March 2020, buoyed by fiscal stimulus and central bank policies. As countries begin to reopen, will the value of the biggest companies in the world continue to climb?
Visualizing China’s $18 Trillion Economy in One Chart
China’s economy reached a GDP of 114 trillion yuan ($18 trillion) in 2021, well above government targets. What sectors drove that growth?
Visualizing China’s $18 Trillion Economy in 2021
China is the world’s second largest economy after the U.S., and it is expected to eventually climb into the number one position in the coming decades.
While China’s economy has had a much rockier start this year due to zero-tolerance COVID-19 lockdowns and supply chain issues, our visualization covers a full year of data for 2021—a year in which most economies recovered after the initial chaos of the pandemic.
In 2021, China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reached ¥114 trillion ($18 trillion in USD), according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The country’s economy outperformed government targets of 6% growth, with the overall economy growing by 8.1%.
Let’s take a look at what powers China’s modern economy.
Breaking Down China’s Economy By Sector
|Sector||2021 Total GDP |
|2021 Total GDP |
|Wholesale and Retail Trades||¥10.5T||$1.7T||9.2%|
|Farming, Forestry, Animal Husbandry, and Fishery||¥8.7T||$1.4T||7.6%|
|Transport, Storage, and Post||¥4.7T||$0.7T||4.1%|
|Information Transmission, Software and IT Services||¥4.4T||$0.7T||3.9%|
|Renting & Leasing Activities and Business Services||¥3.5T||$0.6T||3.1%|
|Accommodation and Restaurants||¥1.8T||$0.3T||1.6%|
Industrial production—activity in the manufacturing, mining, and utilities sectors—is by far the leading driver of China’s economy. In 2021, the sector generated ¥37.3 trillion, or one-third of the country’s total economic activity.
Despite a slowdown in December, wholesale and retail trades also performed strongly in 2021. As the main gauge of consumption, it was affected by lockdown measures and the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant towards the end of the year, but still rose by double digits, reaching a total of ¥10.5 trillion*.
“Other services”, which includes everything from scientific research and development to education and social services, generated 16% of China’s total economy in 2021, or ¥18.1 trillion.
*Editor’s note: At time of publishing, China’s government seems to have since adjusted this number to ¥11.0 trillion, which is not consistent with the original data set provided, but worth noting.
Where is China’s GDP Headed?
China’s economy recovered noticeably faster than most major economies last year, and as the overall trend below shows, the country has grown consistently in the years prior.
Before the pandemic hit, China’s quarterly GDP growth had been quite stable at just above 5%.
After the initial onset of COVID-19, the country’s economy faltered, mirroring economies around the globe. But after a strong recovery into 2021, resurging cases caused a new series of crackdowns on the private sector, slowing down GDP growth considerably.
With the slowdown continuing into early 2022, China’s economic horizon still looks uncertain. The lockdown in Shanghai is expected to continue all the way to June 1st, and over recent months there have been hundreds of ships stuck outside of Shanghai’s port as a part of ongoing supply chain challenges.
China’s Zero-COVID Policy: Good or Bad for the Economy?
While every country reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic differently, China adopted a zero-COVID policy of strict lockdowns to control cases and outbreaks.
For most of 2021, the policy didn’t deter GDP growth. Despite some major cities fully or partially locked down to control regional outbreaks, the country’s economy still paced well ahead of many other major economies.
But the policy faced a challenge with the emergence of the Omicron variant. Despite lockdowns and an 88% vaccination rate nationally, seven out of China’s 31 provinces and all of the biggest cities have reported Omicron cases.
And China’s zero-COVID policy has not affected all sectors equally. Industrial production rose by more than 10% in the first 11 months of 2021, despite city lockdowns around the country. That’s because many factories in China are in suburban industrial parks outside the cities, and employees often live nearby.
But many sectors like hotels and restaurants have been more severely affected by city lockdowns. Many global economies are starting to transition to living with COVID, with China remaining as one of the last countries to follow a zero-COVID policy. Does that ensure the country’s economy will continue to slow in 2022, or will China manage to recover and maintain one of the world’s fastest growing economies?
Charted: U.S. Consumer Debt Approaches $16 Trillion
Robust growth in mortgages has pushed U.S. consumer debt to nearly $16 trillion. Click to gain further insight into the situation.
Charted: U.S. Consumer Debt Approaches $16 Trillion
According to the Federal Reserve (Fed), U.S. consumer debt is approaching a record-breaking $16 trillion. Critically, the rate of increase in consumer debt for the fourth quarter of 2021 was also the highest seen since 2007.
This graphic provides context into the consumer debt situation using data from the end of 2021.
Housing Vs. Non-Housing Debt
The following table includes the data used in the above graphic. Housing debt covers mortgages, while non-housing debt covers auto loans, student loans, and credit card balances.
|Total Consumer Debt
Source: Federal Reserve
Trends in Housing Debt
Home prices have experienced upward pressure since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is evidenced by the Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which has increased by 34% since the start of the pandemic.
Driving this growth are various pandemic-related impacts. For example, the cost of materials such as lumber have seen enormous spikes. We’ve covered this story in a previous graphic, which showed how many homes could be built with $50,000 worth of lumber. In most cases, these higher costs are passed on to the consumer.
Another key factor here is mortgage rates, which fell to all-time lows in 2020. When rates are low, consumers are able to borrow in larger quantities. This increases the demand for homes, which in turn inflates prices.
Ultimately, higher home prices translate to more mortgage debt being incurred by families.
No Need to Worry, Though
Economists believe that today’s housing debt isn’t a cause for concern. This is because the quality of borrowers is much stronger than it was between 2003 and 2007, in the years leading up to the financial crisis and subsequent housing crash.
In the chart below, subprime borrowers (those with a credit score of 620 and below) are represented by the red-shaded bars:
We can see that subprime borrowers represent very little (2%) of today’s total originations compared to the period between 2003 to 2007 (12%). This suggests that American homeowners are, on average, less likely to default on their mortgage.
Economists have also noted a decline in the household debt service ratio, which measures the percentage of disposable income that goes towards a mortgage. This is shown in the table below, along with the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate.
|Year||Mortgage Payments as a % of Disposable Income||Average 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate|
Source: Federal Reserve
While it’s true that Americans are less burdened by their mortgages, we must acknowledge the decrease in mortgage rates that took place over the same period.
With the Fed now increasing rates to calm inflation, Americans could see their mortgages begin to eat up a larger chunk of their paycheck. In fact, mortgage rates have already risen for seven consecutive weeks.
Trends in Non-Housing Consumer Debt
The key stories in non-housing consumer debt are student loans and auto loans.
The former category of debt has grown substantially over the past two decades, with growth tapering off during the pandemic. This can be attributed to COVID relief measures which have temporarily lowered the interest rate on direct federal student loans to 0%.
Additionally, these loans were placed into forbearance, meaning 37 million borrowers have not been required to make payments. As of April 2022, the value of these waived payments has reached $195 billion.
Over the course of the pandemic, very few direct federal borrowers have made voluntary payments to reduce their loan principal. When payments eventually resume, and the 0% interest rate is reverted, economists believe that delinquencies could rise significantly.
Auto loans, on the other hand, are following a similar trajectory as mortgages. Both new and used car prices have risen due to the global chip shortage, which is hampering production across the entire industry.
To put this in numbers, the average price of a new car has climbed from $35,600 in 2019, to over $47,000 today. Over a similar timeframe, the average price of a used car has grown from $19,800, to over $28,000.
Misc5 days ago
The Top 10 Largest Nuclear Explosions, Visualized
Technology3 weeks ago
How Do Big Tech Giants Make Their Billions?
Green4 weeks ago
Visualizing All Electric Car Models Available in the U.S.
Markets4 weeks ago
Satellite Maps: Shanghai’s Supply Chain Standstill
Energy1 week ago
Mapped: Solar and Wind Power by Country
Datastream3 weeks ago
Visualizing Companies with the Most Patents Granted in 2021
Technology1 week ago
Synthetic Biology: The $3.6 Trillion Science Changing Life as We Know It
Markets3 weeks ago
Why Investors Tuned Out Netflix