The Urban and Suburban Fortune 500

Where the biggest American companies are located relative to cities.

Image
Reuters

Fortune Magazine recently released its annual list of the largest 500 companies in the world. Of those, 132 are based in the U.S. An interactive map gives us an idea about where these global megacorporations are headquartered, but we dug a little deeper to see what the urban/suburban breakdown is for the Fortune 500.

We pulled addresses for the main headquarters for all U.S.-based companies listed in Fortune's article. Of the 132 such companies on the list, 88 (two-thirds) are based in cities and 44 (one-third) are based in suburbs.

For this analysis, city-based companies are considered those that are located within one of the 100 most populated cities, in a city sharing a direct border with one of those cities or within about 5 miles of one of those cities. Suburban-based cities are those located farther out. [Despite having populations that put them out of the top 100, Hartford, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts, were included as cities due to their regional centrality and relative size.]

As the list below, of the U.S. cities with the most Fortune 500 companies, shows, New York is far and away the urban center of big business in America.

U.S. Cities with the Most Fortune 500 Companies:

City Fortune 500 Companies
New York, NY 18
Houston, TX 6
Minneapolis, MN 4
Atlanta, GA 4
Washington, D.C. 3
Dallas, TX 3
Columbus, OH 3
Cincinnati, OH 3
San Jose, CA 3
Los Angeles, CA 3
Milwaukee, WI 3
Detroit, MI 2
San Antonio, TX 2
San Francisco, CA 2
Chicago, IL 2
Indianapolis, IN 2
Hartford, CT 2
Philadelphia, PA 2
St. Louis, MO 2
Memphis, TN 2
St. Paul, MN 2
Omaha, NE 1
Charlotte, NC 1
Austin, TX 1
Newark, NJ 1
Seattle, WA 1
Louisville, KY 1
Santa Ana, CA 1
Boston, MA 1
Miami, FL 1
Nashville, TN 1
Phoenix, AZ 1
Fort Worth, TX 1
Akron, OH 1
Kansas City, KS 1
Springfield, MA 1


Of the 44 companies based in the suburbs, most HQs are relatively close to big cities. But as this chart shows, many are much farther out.

Here's the full list of the suburban Fortune 500, and their distances to the nearest big city.

1. Wal-Mart Stores (3 of 500)
Bentonville, Arkansas
About 117 miles from Tulsa

2. Chevron (8 of 500)
San Ramon, California
About 27 miles from Oakland

3. General Electric (22 of 500)
Fairfield, Connecticut
About 60 miles from New York

4. Hewlett-Packard (31 of 500)
Palo Alto, California
About 20 miles from San Jose

5. CVS Caremark (56 of 500)
Woonsocket, Rhode Island
About 13 miles from Providence

6. International Business Machines (57 of 500)
Armonk, New York
About 37 miles from New York

7. Costco Wholesale (78 of 500)
Issaquah, Washington
About 15 miles from Seattle

8. Freddie Mac (79 of 500)
McLean, Virginia
About 13 miles from Washington, D.C.

9. Archer Daniels Midland (92 of 500)
Decatur, Illinois
About 140 miles to St. Louis

10. AmerisourceBergen (94 of 500)
Chesterbroook, Pennsylvania
About 23 miles from Philadelphia

11. Marathon Petroleum (106 of 500)
Findlay, Ohio
About 48 miles from Toledo

12. Walgreen (107 of 500)
Deerfield, Illinois
About 28 miles from Chicago

13. Medco Health Solutions (118 of 500)
Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
About 31 miles from New York

14. Microsoft (119 of 500)
Redmond, Washington
About 13 miles from Seattle

15. PepsiCo (133 of 500)
Purchase, New York
About 30 miles from New York

16. Johnson and Johnson (138 of 500)
New Brunswick, New Jersey
About 38 miles from New York

17. State Farm Insurance Companies (140 of 500)
Bloomington, Illinois
About 134 miles from Chicago

18. Caterpillar (155 of 500)
Peoria, Illinois
About 166 miles from Chicago

19. Dow Chemical (156 of 500)
Midland, Michigan
About 125 miles from Detroit

20. Bunge (160 of 500)
White Plains, New York
About 30 miles from New York

21. Kraft Foods (170 of 500)
Northfield, Illinois
About 21 miles from Chicago

22. Lowe's (190 of 500)
Mooresfield, North Carolina
About 24 miles from Charlotte

23. Merck (207 of 500)
Whitehouse Station, New Jersey*
About 46 miles from New York

24. Safeway (232 of 500)
Pleasanton, California
About 30 miles from San Jose

25. Sears Holdings (245 of 500)
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
About 37 miles from Chicago

26. Abbot Laboratories (268 of 500)
Abbot Park, Illinois
About 37 miles from Chicago

27. DuPont (270 of 500)
Wilmington, Delaware
About 30 miles from Philadelphia

28. Google (277 of 500)
Mountain View, California
About 13 miles from San Jose

29. Honeywell International (284 of 500)
Morris Township, New Jersey
About 30 miles from New York

30. Oracle (300 of 500)
Redwood City, California
About 23 miles from San Francisco

31. General Dynamics (339 of 500)
Falls Church, Virginia
About 11 miles from Washington, D.C.

32. Allstate (340 of 500)
Northbrook, Illinois
About 25 miles from Chicago

33. Tyson Foods (345 of 500)
Springdale, Arkansas
About 108 miles from Tulsa

34. Deere (348 of 500)
Moline, Illinois
About 162 miles from Chicago

35. Murphy Oil (352 of 500)
El Dorado, Arkansas
About 118 miles from Little Rock

36. Northrup Grumman (395 of 500)
Falls Church, Virginia
About 11 miles from Washington, D.C.

37. Publix Super Markets (407 of 500)
Lakeland, Florida
About 30 miles from Tampa

38. McDonald's (410 of 500)
Oak Brook, Illinois
About 17 miles from Chicago

39. Tech Data (415 of 500)
Clearwater, Florida
About 13 miles from St. Petersburg

40. Rite Aid (421 of 500)
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
About 80 miles from Baltimore

41. Staples (437 of 500)
Framingham, Massachusetts
About 24 miles from Boston

42. Raytheon (442 of 500)
Waltham, Massachusetts
About 17 miles from Boston

43. TJX (478 of 500)
Framingham, Massachusetts
About 19 miles from Boston

44. Xerox (488 of 500)
Norwalk, Connecticut
About 52 miles from New York

*An earlier version of this story incorrectly located Whitehouse, New Jersey in New York.

Photo credit: Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters

About the Author

  • Nate Berg is a freelance reporter and a former staff writer for CityLab. He lives in Los Angeles.