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Is Gavin Newsom right that California is #1 in Fortune 500 companies? It depends

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(The Center Square) California, the largest state in the nation, finally ranks as the nation’s top home of valuable Fortune 500 companies after a 10 year hiatus. Due to the state’s vast population, however, its standing erodes when evaluating states’ numbers of Fortune 500 companies per capita.

“California is home to the most Fortune 500 companies in the country – beating out Texas, Florida, and all other states,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom in a statement. “From tech to finance to entertainment, California’s diverse economy leads with 57 companies on the list.”

Rounding out the top three states by Fortune 500 headquarters were California, Texas, and New York, coming in at 57, 52, and 52 respectively. However, after adjusting for state population, New York comes out on top out of the three with 2.64 Fortune 500 companies per million residents, followed by Texas at 1.73, then California at 1.46.

New York’s status as the financial capital of not just the United States but the entire world, and its outsize hosting of Fortune 500 companies have provided its residents with the highest nominal GDP per capita of any state, at $109,970. California’s strength in technology, predicated on Silicon Valley and the concentration of top-flight educational institutions in the Bay Area deliver a GDP per capita of $99,120.

Texas, meanwhile, has a GDP per capita of $84,040, continues to be the top destination for companies relocating out of California, and could be home to a new national stock exchange backed by Citadel and BlackRock rivaling that of New York.

According to the California Policy Center, at least 358 major companies have left California since 2005, with 145 of them heading for Texas.

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