Using complete data from the 2014 fiscal year, Google raked in revenues exceeding $66 billion. This means Google is richer than pretty much everyone, and everyone includes the majority of the world's nations such as Iceland, the Bahamas, Guatemala, Bulgaria and Sierra Leone. This figure does not take into account Google's expenses for 2014, which bring the company's total net profit down to a measly $14.44 billion. However, since the gross domestic product, or GDP, of a nation does not incorporate its debt, the revenue figure is the most accurate number to use when comparing the income of corporations to the wealth of nations.
If the Google nation declared sovereignty, issued a currency and joined the United Nations tomorrow, where would it rank on a list of the wealthiest countries? It turns out Google's $66 billion revenue plants it squarely at number 70 for the 2014 fiscal year. Only 69 of the nations of the world outrank the Internet-technology giant. While economic superpowers such as the United States and China far outstrip Google, for now, the number of countries with GDPs dwarfed by Google's massive wealth is staggering.
For more interesting Google trivia, check out 13 Facts You Didn't Know About Google.
Iceland, which boasts a comfortably high average quality of life with low crime and high wages, only reported a GDP of $16.69 billion. The Bahamas clocks in with a modest $8.66 billion, trailed by Sierra Leone with $5.03 billion. Guatemala and Bulgaria actually come close to Google's wealth level with GDP figures of $60.42 billion and $55.84 billion, respectively.
While these numbers are more than a little shocking, what is more shocking is the number of countries at the bottom of the list that do not even put a dent in Google's total income for 2014. In fact, Google's revenue for the year outstripped the poorest 33 countries combined. With only 184 countries reporting GDP figures for 2014, this means Google's wealth exceeds roughly 18% of the global GDP. This can partly be attributed to the fact that many countries report GDP figures well below $1 billion. The tiny nation of Tuvalu reported a GDP of only $40 million for 2014. It takes a lot of Tuvalus to add up to Google's $66 billion.
It may not be news that major corporations such as Google wield astonishing power in the United States and around the world. With most businesses being directly or indirectly controlled by a relatively small number of global mega-companies, almost everything a consumer buys or interacts with is connected in some way to companies such as Google, General Electric (GE), JP Morgan Chase (JPM) or Procter and Gamble (PG). And the corporate consolidation of power certainly is not slowing down. In 1983, for example, 90% of America's media was controlled by 50 companies. As of 2011, that number was whittled down to a very powerful six, including Disney (DIS), Viacom (VIA) and Time Warner (TWX).
It stands to reason that with all its wealth, Google also carries a huge amount of power and responsibility. Some would say those with such healthy bank accounts have a duty to help those less fortunate, and to its credit, Google does contribute quite a bit of its income to various charities. In 2012, Google reported charitable donations exceeding $144.6 million. In addition, it gave away approximately $1 billion in free products.
However, in a world of global corporations with insatiable appetites for expansion, Google is not even the richest company. In fact, based on revenue alone, Google trails pretty far down the list. Wal-Mart tops the chart with revenues exceeding $485 billion, and other corporate giants such as BP, Apple (AAPL) and Bank of America (BOA) rank somewhere in between.
Just as countries face competition to sell their exports, Google fights against relentless grasps at its market share. For more, check out Why Facebook Is The Biggest Threat To Google's Ad-Revenue Throne.