“Per capita” is “per person.” It is a Latin term which more directly means “by the head”. This term is used to report an average per individual in statistics, economics and business.
Per capita can be described as another way to say “per person”.
This phrase is used most often to provide context for data. It can be helpful to compare information between two groups on a per-person basis (or “per capita”) to ensure that the comparisons are accurate.
Per capita is a precise legal term. This means that an estate is divided equally between all living beneficiaries. This is in contrast to “Per stirpes” This means that the estate is divided among the branches, regardless of how many people are in each.
It is used often to compare the economic indicators between countries with different populations (abled and disabled population). Gross domestic product (GDP) and income are the most common indicators used per capita.
How do you calculate per capita?
Divide the statistical measurement of an organization by its population to get per capita. If 1,000 apples are owned jointly by ten people, then 100 apples per capita can be calculated.
Measurement / Population = Measurement per Capita
What is the Per Capita Method of Working?
This type of measurement can be demonstrated by seeing how per capita calculations precise GDP data.
GDP is a measure of all the products within a country’s borders. It includes a dollar figure. It measures a country’s economy and is usually reported for either a quarter of a year.
Economists can alter raw GDP data to make it easier to compare countries. They subtract the exchange rate effects between currencies with buying power parity. This calculates the U.S. dollars value of local goods and services. To remove inflation and deflation, they use real GDP.
A per capita measurement is another way to compare GDP. GDP per person is the country’s GDP divided by its population.
The United States is second in world economic size after China.4 In fact, it’s the third-most populous country in the world. US GDP per capita is calculated by dividing $22 trillion U.S. GDP by 334 million. This gives you $66,000.
Gross National Income Per Capita
A standard measurement of per capita is the gross national income per person. This is the sum of GDP and income earned by residents through foreign investments, divided by the population. This includes dividends and interest earned abroad. This includes income from dividends and interest earned overseas.
Limitations on Per Capita
Per capita is a helpful way to see the context of a lot of data. However, it’s not the best way of looking at all information.
The median income, which is the U.S. per-person income, is a better reflection of average Americans’ actual incomes. It considers income inequality that per capita income can conceal.
The median represents the average income of half the people. Because it accounts for very few wealthy individuals whose income tends to tilt the middle upward, it’s a helpful number.
How is Per capita used?
These are the most popular ways per capita are used:
Gross domestic product (GDP).
Per capita funds
GDP per capita
GDP per capita can be used to measure a country’s economic output. It is an indicator of how many people live in the country. Divide the country’s total domestic production by its population to calculate the GDP. This is the formula for GDP:
Gross domestic product/population = GDP Per Capita
Here’s a fictional example of how to calculate GDP per capita in a country.
In 2015, the United States’ gross domestic product was $20 trillion. In 2015, the United States had a gross domestic product of $20 trillion. Three hundred million people lived in the country.
The above formula would give you 20 trillion/300,000,000 = 66,666. This would mean that in the United States, the GDP per capita (or person) was $66,666, which is equivalent to an individual earning $66,660 in 2015.
It is important to remember that a country’s GDP may not necessarily indicate that it has a high per capita GDP. China, for example, often has a higher per capita GDP than other countries. China has the largest population in the whole world.
This means that its GDP per capita is likely to be lower. The GDP per capita fee of a country will be lower if it has a higher population.
Gross national income Per capita
You can also calculate the gross national income per person of a country by using the same formula as the one used to calculate the GDP per head. The same information used to calculate the GDP per person will be used to calculate the gross national inflow per capita measures.
This calculation will also include any foreign investment income. In addition to income earned overseas from dividends and interest, the gross national income per person also includes income from foreign investments.
According to the World Bank, gross national income per person is the sum of all income earned by the residents of a country and the companies within the country, regardless of where they are located.
The United States’ per-capita funding is surveyed every ten years. A September update provides an estimate of the country per capita. The U.S. Census provides these numbers and surveys. They do this by taking into account each year’s income for every U.S. citizen over 15. The U.S. Census calculates the annual average per-capita income using this information.
Limitations of Per Capita
1. Age differences
One problem with calculating GDP per person is that it calculates economic output for the entire population. There are countries like India where the youth population is highly concentrated. In India, for example, the median age is 28. But in the US, it is 38. That’s an additional ten years.
These significant age differences mean that many young people are not in education and are not contributing to economic output. This is why GDP per capita does not take into account this. It will likely devalue the actual monetary output per person in countries with large youth populations. A better measure would be ‘per worker’. This way, age differences can be explained as it only counts those who work and produce economic output.
2. Distribution of Income
Both GDP per capita well as income per capita look at average statistics. If there are significant statistical outliers, this can lead to misleading results. For example, Nigeria, India, and Ghana have roughly the same GDP per capita allotment of around $2,000. However, absolute poverty levels vary between the three countries.
The latest data from the World Bank shows that over 50% of Nigeria’s population lives in absolute poverty, which is less than $1.90 per day. Despite having the same GDP per capita, India has 21 per cent, and Ghana has 13 per cent absolute poverty. These stark contrasts are due to extreme differences in income and wealth distribution. The wealthiest people are wealthy, while those at the bottom are extremely poverty.
3. It doesn’t take into account the cost of living
Statistics by per capita show similar levels of income and GDP, but they do not account for the actual cost of living. The per capita fee payment rate in India is approximately $2,000; however, $1 in India can purchase many more goods and services than it can in the US. Take the iconic Big Mac, which costs $2.50 in India but $5.70 in America. In India, two Big Macs can be purchased, and you still have enough change.
Other vital costs like food, medical fee- dental care plans and health care cost growth, rent and electricity are also significantly lower than the US, which allows $1 to go further than it would in the US. When we look at income per capita spending, we compare India to the US. Even though India’s GDP per capita is only $2,000, that amount can purchase the equivalent of approximately Goods worth $7,000The US. This is when we add PPP to GDP per capita tax, which adjusts for local buying power.
Advantages of Per Capita
1. Positive correlation with key indicators
It is possible to argue that GDP does not mean much when countries like China have high GDP figures but have high poverty rates. It allows us to see the individual’s economic output more accurately by calculating GDP per capita. Compared to this, China’s GDP is not that high.
Per capita GDP is a better indicator of the quality of life. Do many studies link GDP to factors like Life expectancy? Happiness? Criminal activity The income of the poor. On average, we can conclude that higher GDP per capita is associated with significant quality of life statistics.
2. Compare Countries
We can identify the average per-person income in a country by using per capita. This is useful for companies making investment decisions, as it allows them to place an investment plan. Low-income countries, for example, cannot afford Lamborghinis and Ferraris. It may be more advantageous to focus on federal funds and federal budget goods that can be afforded for federal spending.
Although countries like India and China may have high GDPs, this is misleading because of the sheer size of their populations. Despite having a higher GDP than countries like the UK or France, both are still very poor. It shows a more precise picture of their economic development and economic downturns by using per capita.
Countries still in development may see strong GDP per capita fees. This could signal to domestic and foreign businesses that the government is an excellent place to invest. They may establish themselves as a significant player in the market during the initial development phase and secure a strong position.
3. Helps Businesses with Decision Making
Per capita basis helps businesses identify income levels in different parts of the country whilst making a like for like comparison. For instance, California’s GDP per capita distribution was over $70,000 in 2019, whilst it was just over $41,000 in Alabama.
The difference is quite striking, but it allows businesses to make decisions that suit them. For instance, a manufacturing business that relies on low-skilled, cheap labour may look to invest in Alabama. By contrast, a luxury watch brand may operate and sell its good in California, where incomes are higher.
4. Widely available statistics
One of the most significant advantages to using GDP per capita or capita per capita is that all countries have access to population figures. Because each country keeps some record of the births and deaths of its citizens, as well as conducting censuses’. Although some countries, such as the Central African Republic and Sudan, are not reliable, statistics still provide a good indicator of their size.
You can also take other measures like Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) Inflation. They are less reliable because they rely on survey data and require data that isn’t often available. There are also many statistics, such as PPP, that aren’t widely available. Even when results are available, they are not at regular intervals.
Poverty and Per Capita
The World Bank publishes data on GDP per capita and total GDP. Still, each statistic can offer a contradictory perspective on the economic condition or the wealth of its citizens for a time period.
Some economists believe that a country’s overall economic growth or its total GDP is irrelevant when it comes to the concern about poverty in the country. If an outlet reports that the global GDP grew by 3.3%, that may sound great, but it fails to consider that the world’s population grew 1.5%, making this number less impressive.
The difference between GDP per-capita growth and total GDP growth in countries with a low population growth rate is minimal. For rapidly growing countries, such as South Asia and Africa, reporting GDP growth may be misleading. A government could show overall GDP growth but a decrease in per capita growth.
Afghanistan is used as an example because its economy grew by 2.8% in 2013 but fell by 0.7% per capita.