Per Capita


DEFINITION of 'Per Capita'

A Latin term that translates into "by head," basically meaning "average per person." Per capita can take the place of saying "per person" in any number of statistical observances. In most cases the term is used in relation to economic data or reporting, but can also be used in most any other occurrence of population description.


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Per capital is often is used to express a country or region's income level or economic output, such as GDP. For example, consider the United States in 2011, with a population of about 313,400,000 people and a GDP of $15,094 trillion. In this case, the per capita income, or average income per person, would be equal to approximately $48,000. National economic indicators such as GDP or GNP are typically quoted on a per capita basis when presented in the media.

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