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

September 15, 2016

     By Duncan Green     

Global Justice Now

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.

Countries and corporates by revenue
September 15, 2016
Duncan Green