Geography of Fortune 1000 Companies

Caitlin Dempsey


The database used in this article was compiled and edited by Charlie Ragland. Information was gathered from the Fortune web site. As rankings change throughout the year, this data was current through March of 2000.

For more a current analysis, visit Fortune 1000 companies for 2018.  

Special notes of interest from Charlie include:

The number 1 company is General Motors, with $189 BILLION in revenue.
Number 500 is ReliaStar Financial with $3.04 billion, and number 1000 is
Chesapeake Corp. with $1.16 billion. Fortune contains all the
financial data if you are interested. The site also has the classifications
of the companies, such as retail, electronics, financial, etc.

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Lots of companies and brand names we may be familiar with are not
included, because (a) they are a subsidiary company to one already on the
list, (b) they are a foreign corporation, or (c) they are privately held.

Data gathered from two thousand year Fortune 1000 Company ranking was mapped in order to look at any spatial patterns in their locations. The headquarters of each Fortune 1000 ranked company was mapped out for the entire United States.

The date was first geocoded by zipcode to see the spatial distribution. The locations of Fortune 1000 Companies are mostly distributed in the Eastern and Midwest portions of the United States. Most of the Western locations are along the coastline. There is a definite paucity of locations in the Central portion of the United States.

One of the powers of GIS is the ability to analyze spatial phenomena in relationship to other layers. Although no correlation analysis was performed for this article, it is very apparent to the casual observer that most Fortune 1000 Companies are located near population clusters. When the company locations were overlayed with population data, a discernible pattern is apparent.

The image above shows the lower portion of California and the neighboring states of Arizona and Nevada. The green dots represent population clusters in the form of cities and designated census areas. The red dots are the locations of Fortune 1000 Companies. We can see clusters of Fortune 1000 Companies near the Los Angeles/San Diego, Las Vegas and Scottsdale/Phoenix areas.

Adding the major road routes network also gives more spatial indicators of where Fortune 1000 Companies are located. Most of the Fortune 1000 Companies are located along major transportation routes.

Higher GIS analysis can be performed to determine any correlation with population clusters and routes. For example, a NEAR function can be performed in ArcInfo to calculate the distance each company is located from the nearest route. Regression analysis could then be run to determine if there is a statistical correlation between company location and major routes.

The second set of descriptive analysis was linking the state field from the Fortune 1000 Companies database to a state layer. The joined table was then mapped thematically with darker reds indicating more companies located in that state and light reds indicating less companies located in that state. States were there were no Fortune 1000 Companies are shaded gray.

California and New York State were tied for first place with ninety-eight Fortune 1000 Companies apiece. Texas ran a close third with eighty companies. Five states had no Fortune 1000 Companies located in their area. These were: Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.  The full listing of Fortune 1000 companies by state: Fortune 1000 Companies By State.  The count of listings by state: Number of Fortune 1000 Companies by State.

Thematic Map of Fortune 1000 Companies

Puerto Rico which had one company is not shown on this map.  States shaded in gray have no Fortune 1000 companies headquartered.

Washington Oregon California Nevada Arizona utah New Mexico Texas Louisiana Mississippi Alabama Florida Georgia South Carolina North Carolina Virginia Tennessee Kentucky Delaware Maryland New Jersey Pennsylvannia New York Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts New Hampshire Maine Ohio Indiana Michigan Michigan Wisconsin Minnesota Illinois Iowa Missouri Arkansas Oklahoma Idaho montana Colorado Kansas Nebraska South Dakota Hawaii

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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.