Per capita is a word widely used in the social sciences, environmental studies, and statistics, including government statistics and economic indicators. It is a French word used as a preposition. It simply means in English, “for each head.” Per means for each, and capita means head. Per capita is used to reflect how certain activities and actions of institutions affect individual, personally. Statistically, per capita gives an individualistic outlook of the outcome of a research or study.
It is used in business, economics, and governmental studies to denote an average as it affects each person. Per capita is used to study how certain economic indicators vary across the population of a country. It is used in planning and projecting or estimating the level of spread of a particular indicator, whether it is economical, governmental, or business within a population. Per capita is also used in the legal profession. Legally, it means an estate will be shared equally among the living beneficiaries of the estate.
Measuring per capita mathematically is straightforward. Per capita can be calculated by dividing the statistical measurement by the population. The formula is stated below:
Measurement Per capita = measurement/population.
When the incident or indicator being measured is presumed to have small effect on the spread, then it is calculated per 100,000 heads. Per capita assists in comparing any measurable factor among groups of different size. Using per capita is dominant in calculating two economic variables, production and income.
Using it to estimate the production within a country gives one an accurate account of the specifics of production within a geographical enclave. Also, using it to measure income provides specific information about the standard of living within a geographical enclave.
GDP per capita is used to measure to economic output of a country per individual. GDP means gross domestic product. It helps in measuring all goods and services produced within a country’s borders. Also, the GNI measures income generated by citizens of a country living within and outside the country. GNI is an abbreviation that means gross national income. It helps in calculating all income earned by residents and businesses within a country.
Per capita calculations give no actual qualitative representation of the distribution of resources or income within an area. It does not consider skewed data. It measures everything equally, shielding some underlying variables.
To harness the best measurement, one must extrapolate the outcome to other measurements, like median measurements etc.These measurements are to estimate the performance of the group, rather than measure the performance of the individuals within the group. For example, when measuring the per capita income, one may get a value of $12,345.00 per capita. A closer look within the group will show some people earn less or greater than the measured value, due to the approximations in measurement.