To put the value of some of the world’s biggest corporations into perspective, Real Business Rescue has gathered market capitalisation figures and compared them to the GDP of major countries. 

Despite the pandemic, eCommerce sales increased globally, rising 27.6% from 2019 to 2020. Alongside this widespread growth, individual companies are getting richer – the likes of Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are giant household brands, with market values continuously growing to unprecedented heights. 

In August 2015, Apple Inc. became the world’s first company to record a market capitalisation of $1 trillion, and two years later, became the first publicly traded US company to surpass $2 trillion.

To put the value of some of the wealthiest companies in the world into perspective, Real Business Rescue has compared its market value to countries’ GDP, to uncover the companies worth more than countries around the world. 

Top ten companies that are worth more than countries

RankCompanyCompany market value Country GDPCompany market value compared to country GDP
1Apple$2.25 trillion$1.08 trillion (Mexico)2.1 x Mexico
2Microsoft$1.97 trillion$1.89 trillion (Italy)1 x Italy
3Saudi Aramco$1.90 trillion$421.0 billion (UAE)4.5 x UAE
4Amazon$1.71 trillion£1.33 trillion (Austria)4 x Austria
5Alphabet$1.54 trillion$1.48 trillion (Russia)1 x Russia
6Meta (Facebook)$870.5 billion$212.5 billion (New Zealand)4.1 x New Zealand
7Tencent Holdings$773.8 billion$301.9 billion (South Africa)2.6 x South Africa
8Alibaba Group$657.5 billion$418.6 billion(Ireland)1.6 x Ireland
9Berkshire Hathaway$624.4 billion$155.0 billion (Hungary)4 x Hungary
10Taiwan Semiconductor$558.1 billion$501.8 billion (Vietnam)2.1 x Vietnam
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Apple made history in 2018 by becoming the first trillion-dollar company, and it hasn’t looked back since. Not only does Apple’s market cap sit at twice the size of the GDP of Mexico – the country with the 15th highest GDP in the world – it is also over two and half times larger than the Netherlands and three times larger than Switzerland. In fact, fewer than ten countries around the world, including the United States and China, have a GDP larger than the tech giant’s estimated value.

Following in second place is Microsoft, another household name as one of the world’s most successful tech companies. Along with most other companies, Microsoft had a rocky period during the 2008 economic crash; however, it’s seen impressive business recovery since, increasing its value by 0ver 700% between 2008 and 2021. 

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If Microsoft was a country, it would be one of the richest nations in the world, with a value larger than the GDPs of countries like Canada, Russia and Spain.

In third place is the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, which was founded in 1933. Despite the prediction that the current downturn in the North Sea may result in higher levels of business insolvency and liquidation in the oil and gas sector over the coming years, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company has been going strong and reached a market cap of over $1.8 trillion in 2021 – more than two and half times the GDP of its home country Saudi Arabia. 

Despite these companies boasting extraordinarily high market values – with household names such as Microsoft, Amazon and (Meta) Facebook ranking in the top ten – there are seven countries that these companies do not come close to competing with.

The United States, China, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, India and France all have higher GDP than any of the richest companies. 

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Top five companies with higher market values than the GDP of % of countries in the world

RankCompanyHigher market value than % of countries GDP
1Saudi Aramco97%
5Tencent Holdings90%
Top 5 US companies with values higher than most countries GDP

Apple, Microsoft and Saudi Aramco rank joint first as the companies with a market value higher than the GDP of 97% of countries in the world.

Other companies in the top 20 include other household names, such as Samsung Electronics, worth more than 87% of worldwide GDPs, the creators of the single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, Johnson & Johnson, at 86%, Walmart (84%), LVMH (84%) Bank of America (80%) and Nestlé (80%), 

Commenting on the research, Shaun Barton, National Online Business Operations Director at Real Business Rescue:

“Over the last few decades, companies that have become household names have seen eye-watering growth on a global scale, to the point where their market capitalisation overshadows the GDPs of entire nations. Although market cap and GDP represent different things, the comparison helps to visualise the wealth and power held by these businesses. 

“Our data shows that if Apple, Microsoft and Amazon were countries, they would rank in the top ten richest nations in the world – highlighting how as the world becomes increasingly connected, the sky’s the limit when it comes to growth for global companies. Not only can businesses end up wealthier than the countries they were founded in, but they can become wealthier than more than 97% of countries’ GDP – with more growth predicted in the future.”

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