Apple Inc. (AAPL) became the world's first company to record a market capitalization of $1 trillion, and subsequently passed the $1.3 trillion threshold in Dec. 2019. To put that staggering $1.3 trillion figure in context, we present five other huge things that the giant technology company is bigger than in terms of dollar value.

Key Takeaways

  • Apple Inc. leads all public companies with a $1.3 trillion market cap.
  • This figure exceeds the GDP of most countries.
  • It also exceeds the total value of stocks on most exchanges worldwide.
  • Apple's market cap is massive by a variety of other comparisons.

1. Economies of Entire Countries

Global GDP was $85.9 trillion in 2018, per the latest data from the World Bank, and Apple's market cap is 1.5% of that figure. Compared to the U.S., the world's largest economy with GDP of $20.5 trillion in 2018, Apple's market cap represents 6.3%.

Only 14 countries have annual GDP figures greater than Apple's market cap, which is just below the $1.4 trillion GDPs each for Australia and Spain. The nations with GDP figures immediately below $1.3 trillion are Mexico, Indonesia, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Switzerland.

Moreover, the World Bank compiles GDP data for 263 countries, regions, or collections of countries with similar characteristics. Of these, 216, or 82.1%, generate less than $1.3 trillion in annual GDP.



2. The Market Value of Some Stock Exchanges

The total market capitalization of all shares traded on the top 72 stock exchanges around the world was $84.9 trillion as of July 2019, per data compiled by the World Federation of Exchanges. Apple represents 1.5% of that total.

Moreover, among those 72 exchanges, only 14 have market caps greater than Apple. Those exchanges immediately behind Apple are the Taiwan Stock Exchange, Brasil Bolsa Balcao, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, BME Spanish Exchanges, Moscow Exchange, and Singapore Exchange.



3. U.S. Budget Deficit

The U.S. government’s expenses far exceed its revenue generation, leading to a burgeoning budget deficit which has been a subject of hot political debates. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports that the federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2019, which ended on Sept. 30, was $984 billion, or $205 billion more than in the prior fiscal year.

Massive as the annual federal deficit is, Apple's market cap is larger. However, the total federal debt of $22.72 trillion is orders of magnitude greater.

$22.72 trillion

U.S. federal government debt as of Sept. 30, 2019. This is 17.5 times Apple's market cap.

4. Cost of WWI, the Vietnam War, and the Iraq War

While wars cause the destruction of life that cannot be measured, a 2010 Congressional Research Service report estimated the economic cost of each U.S. war between 1775 and 2010, adjusting the figures to reflect constant dollar prices as of fiscal year 2011. Based on data from that report, Apple’s market cap exceeds the inflation-adjusted costs to the U.S. of World War I, the Vietnam War, and the Iraq War, among others. The only exception is World War II, with an estimated cost of $4.1 trillion in 2011 dollars.



5. The Combined Net Worth of the World's 18 Richest People

Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest man according to Forbes magazine, which estimated his net worth to be $118 billion as of Jan. 2, 2020. The combined wealth of the top 11 on the Forbes list, including other well-known names such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, is estimated at $897 billion, which is below Apple's market value. To equal Apple's market cap, one has to add the top 18 billionaires on the list.