Society has a fascination with people who are 100+ years old.
Whenever we hear of a centenarian, we inevitably try to figure out how they did it, dissecting their diet, daily routine, and priorities.
But that same curiosity seems to be lacking for long-lived institutions.
Thankfully, we have The Long Now Foundation
Established in 1996, the San Francisco-based non-profit seeks to promote long-term thinking. It recently released some data on long-lived institutions.
Among the highlights:
- 2 countries rule: Of the 5.5k+ companies that are >200 years old, 56% are Japanese and 15% are German.
- Most are small: Of these, 90% have fewer than 300 employees
- Long-lasting industries: Looking at 1k companies >300 years old, the most-represented industries are alcohol (23%), hotels (12%) and restaurants (9%).
- Company life is getting shorter in America: In 1950, the average Fortune 500 company was 61 years old; now, it’s only 18.
Here’s a look at the current longest-living Fortune 500 companies: