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Q: How many technology companies are there worldwide? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: How many technology companies are there worldwide?
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: dietz-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 03 Jun 2004 13:31 PDT
Expires: 03 Jul 2004 13:31 PDT
Question ID: 356044
I need a business statistic. Please find for me how many
technology companies there are worldwide as of this year, 2004. An
approximate number is fine, but I need a definitive source(s) to
justify the number.

I've tried looking at the worldbank website, US government statistics,
etc. to no avail.

"Technology companies" include: software firms, computer engineering
firms, biotechs, networking firms, telecommunications, etc. Anything
high-tech. If it seems high-tech, include it!

I want to say: this year there are XYZ technology companies, and growing.


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 03 Jun 2004 16:16 PDT
The largest number I've seen so far says there are 285,000 tech firms
in the US, which suggests there are probably in the neighborhood of
1-2 million technology companies worldwide (out of a total of 56
million companies in the world, tech and otherwise).

So far, that's as close as I can get.  But I'm still looking....


Clarification of Question by dietz-ga on 03 Jun 2004 16:45 PDT
glad you're on the case! With those two totals (US and worldwide) you
seem on the right track!  -- I don't see what you want me to clarify.

If you have a quotable sourcess, then we're halfway there... but are
you're saying that a *worldwide* figure for tech companies is likely
discoverable? I'll be on standby!

Thank you much

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 04 Jun 2004 06:36 PDT
Hello Paul,

I should have been more specific in my last comment, as to what I need
clarification on.

So here it is...

The figure I've found so far for the US is here:


"There are 285,000 technology companies in the U.S...."


It's a recent quote, but of course, there's no citation as to where
the number came from.  I can guess that is US Census Bureau data, but
haven't been able to confirm this yet.

You can, however, cite it as: "According to the auditing firm,
PRG-Schultz International Inc...."

With some creative number work, I could easily scale up this number to
a world-wide total (e.g. if the US represents 1/8 of the global
economy in technology, I would multiply 285,000 x 8 to get a plausible
estimate of the number of tech companies in the world).

My question to you you want me to do that?  And would that
sort of estimate, then, serve as a suitable answer to your question?

Let me know what you think?


Clarification of Question by dietz-ga on 04 Jun 2004 09:12 PDT
Hello! Good clarification... I don't want to make this an impossible
question to answer, so a  plausible estimate is fine... I'll want to
document the path taken to arrive at a global number, so if you have a
source for the US' global share of the economy (e.g. 1/8) then I think
your solution will work! Thanks.... paul
Subject: Re: How many technology companies are there worldwide?
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 04 Jun 2004 11:57 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars



First, let me review how I got there, and then we can examine some of
the sources and details in a bit more depth.

From the source I cited earlier:,10801,89722,00.html

we have a figure for the number of technology companies in the United
States:  285,000

The GDP for the US in 2002 was $10,207 billion.

The GDP for the world as a whole was $31,720 billion.

So, the US accounts for about a third of the overall global economy,
or more precisely:

10,207 / 31,720 = 0.321784363 = approximately 32.18%

Dividing the two figures:

285,000 / .3218 = 885,643

gives us a result -- 885,643 -- as a reasonable approximation for the
number of technology companies in the world.


The GDP numbers for the US and the world as a whole come from the
World Bank, and can found on the web at:
Size of the Economy


I also tried to pin down the source of the figure of 285,000 hi tech
companies in the US.  In the process, I came across some data that may
be useful, and which I suspect was the source of the 285,000 figure,
though I have not been able to confirm this.

The US Census Bureau conducted an extensive census of the economy for
2002, and data from this effort is just now beginning to trickly out. 
The Bureua has released its preliminary 2002 overview survey data:
Table 2. Advance Comparative Statistics for the United States

The table (which also includes 1997 data for comparison), reports on
the number of businesses in the US in a great many different
categories.  It's pretty much a judgement call which categories you
would consider to be "technology companies", but just as a

Computer and electronic product manufacturing 2002 ................ 15,698  

Electrical equipment, appliance, and component manufacturing.........6,420
Electronics and appliance stores 2002 ............................. 46,724  
Publishing industries 2002 ........................................ 32,239
Motion picture and sound recording industries 2002 ................ 22,831
Broadcasting and telecommunications 2002 .......................... 57,277  

Information services and data processing services 2002 ............ 24,929  


As you can see, it doesn't take that many categories to begin
approaching the 285,000 figure.   When the data is made publicly
available in a finer level of detail, it will be much easier to sort
the sub-categories into "high tech" operations (e.g. "software
publishers"), and make a more definitive count of businesses (at least
in the US).

Well...I hope this provides you the information you were after
(without going overboard!).

Paul...If there's anything else you need -- or if anything here is not
clear -- just let me know by posting a Request for Clarification, and
I'll be happy to assist you further.

dietz-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $25.00
I am thrilled with this answer! Pafalafa did an amazing job: thorough,
precise, friendly... top-notch. This was my first use of the google
service and I am simply amazed.

Subject: Web Design/Development Companies
From: socketboy-ga on 03 Jun 2004 15:29 PDT
I run a site The Firm List ( which is the largest
guide to web design/development firms.  This is a sub-set of the total
companies you're looking at, but might give you a glimpse...

As of May 2004, there were 14,000 firms listed in 167 countries
worldwide.  There's been 300+ firms submitted each month for 4-5 years
straight and I see no end in sight.  So, when I am asked for a guess
of how many web design/development firms worldwide, I quote 30,000 and
that could be a lowball depending on how you define a "company" or
"firm".  Many can be one-person or virtual shops. Same would apply to
software. With outsourcing, all you need is a sales rep and that's
your company, outsource all the other positions.

Subject: Re: How many technology companies are there worldwide?
From: dietz-ga on 03 Jun 2004 16:41 PDT
Thanks for that address -- your site is excellent (fun design too!)...
glad you commented. I'm sure many of us will benefit from your work! I
for one am interested in New Zealand. Perfect timing!  --paul
Subject: Re: How many technology companies are there worldwide?
From: pafalafa-ga on 04 Jun 2004 14:27 PDT

WOW!  Thanks a lot for your kind words and generosity.  I'm glad to
hear that the information met your needs.  Hope we'll see you back
here one of these days.


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