Geography of Fortune 1000 Companies in 2014

Caitlin Dempsey


Every year, the magazine Fortune ranks companies in the United States based on publicly reported revenues.  Called the Fortune 1000, this list is the top 1000 corporations in the U.S. based solely on revenue.  The Fortune 500 is a subset of those companies holding the top 500 positions.

The rankings for the 2014 Fortune 1000 companies were geocoded based on the addresses of those company headquarters.  The rankings are current as of August 12, 2014 when they were extracted from the Fortune 500 list (which, despite the page title, lists records for the complete Fortune 1000 list).  The Fortune 1000 companies were mapped out in order to understand the answers to such questions as which states have the most Fortune 1000 companies and where are there geographic clusters of Fortune 1000 companies.  The headquarters for each company was geocoded via Google Fusion.  An interactive map showing those locations can be found at the bottom of this article.  I have made the full list of the Fortune 1000 companies for 2014 available and the page includes a link to download a CSV of the lists which includes lat/long coordinates.  (For a more current geographical analysis, read Geography of Fortune 1000 Companies in 2015.  Also see the Geography of Fortune 1000 Companies in 2000 for an earlier perspective.)

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The geographic distribution of Fortune 1000 companies across the United States is not equal.  A visual look at a map of the Fortune 1000 companies shows dense concentrations in particular along the Eastern Seaboard and in and around major cities like Chicago and Los Angeles.

Distribution of Fortune 1000 Companies by State

Texas narrowly beats out California for the top spot as the state with the most Fortune 1000 companies at 103 versus 102.  California, however, has the most Fortune 500 companies with 54 as opposed to Texas’ 52. The state of New York is third with 88 Fortune 1000 companies (and 47 Fortune 500 companies).  Illinois (67) and Ohio (56) round out the top five.  For a complete list of counts for Fortune 1000 and Fortune 500 companies by state visit the list of Fortune 1000 and Fortune 500 Companies by State.

States without Fortune 1000 and Fortune 500 Companies

There are seven states that have no Fortune 1000 companies headquartered.  These seven states are: Alaska, Maine, South Dakota, Wyoming, West Virginia, Montana, and New Mexico.  That number increases to twelve when looking at the list of states that have no companies headquartered from the Fortune 500 list: North Dakota, Hawaii, Vermont, Mississippi, and New Hampshire join the list.

Fortune 1000 Companies Tend to Cluster in Urban Areas

All of the Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in areas classified as either urbanized areas or urban clusters by the US Census Bureau.  Of those 969 were located in urbanized areas which the US Census defines as a population larger 50,000 residents.  A further 31 companies were located in urban clusters which is defined by the US Census as an area with a population between 2,500 and 50,000.

Heat map showing clusters for Fortune 1000 companies.
Heat map showing clusters for Fortune 1000 companies. Hawaii and Puerto Rico are not shown. Click on the map for a larger image.

The heat map above shows where Fortune 1000 companies cluster.  The heat map was created in ArcGIS using Spatial Analyst’s Point Density tool.  The basemap is from ArcGIS Online.

The most dominant cluster is the Census named New York–Newark, NY–NJ–CT Urbanized Area which has a 2010 calculated population of 18,351,295 people.  Over ten percent of the total Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered here, with a count of 114.  The second highest density is the Chicago, IL–IN Urbanized Area (2010 population of 8,608,208) with 62 companies.  Two Texan urban areas, the Houston, TX Urbanized Area (population: 4,944,332) and the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, TX Urbanized Area (population: 5,121,892) hold the third and fourth spots with 46 and 38 companies respectively.  Despite its ranking as the second most populous urban area, the Los Angeles–Long Beach–Anaheim, CA Urbanized Area (population: 12,150,996) only ranks fifth with 32 companies.  The San Jose, CA Urbanized Area (population: 1,664,496) with roughly only a tenth of the population of the Los Angeles area, is close behind with 31 companies.  A full list of urban areas with the number of Fortune 1000 companies can be accessed by visiting the list of Fortune 1000 Companies by Urban Area.

A graph of Fortune 1000 companies against 2010 US Census population numbers for urban areas shows that the trend of a higher cluster of Fortune 1000 companies when plotted against population.  Los Angeles (the plot located above the trend line at the 12,000,000 population line) is the clear outlier in this group.

Number of Fortune 1000 companies (X axis) plotted against 2010 Census population numbers for urban areas.
Number of Fortune 1000 companies (X axis) plotted against 2010 Census population numbers for urban areas.

Interactive Map of Fortune 1000 Companies for 2014

Below is an interactive map using Google Maps that lets you explore the individual locations of all companies on the Fortune 1000 list for 2014.  Click on the red dots to access detail about each Fortune 1000 company.

Data Sources 

Growth in Urban Population Outpaces Rest of Nation. Census Bureau Reports.  Dated: March 26, 2012.

Fortune 500 – 2014.  Fortune.  Accessed August 12, 2014.

2013 TIGER/Line Shapefiles. Access point to download the 2010 Census Urban Area National shapefile from the US Census Bureau

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.