per capita

adverb or adjective
per cap·​i·​ta | \ (ˌ)pər-ˈka-pə-tə How to pronounce per capita (audio) \

Definition of per capita

1 : per unit of population : by or for each person the highest income per capita of any state in the union
2 : equally to each individual

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Synonyms for per capita


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Examples of per capita in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In theory consumers still have significant scope to increase spending: on a per capita basis, Chinese residents saved about 34% of their disposable income in the first nine months of 2021, up from an average of about 32% from 2017 to 2019. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, 18 Oct. 2021 Still, data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday ranked Alaska in 40th place among all states based on its per capita testing over the last week. Annie Berman, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Oct. 2021 As much as possible, give it back to the residents of our city who have been here since at least the end of 2020 on a per capita basis, with half rate for children under age 18. Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Oct. 2021 California is now recording half as many new daily COVID-19 hospital admissions as the nation overall on a per capita basis. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, 6 Oct. 2021 Thursday's per capita case rate, based on a seven-day moving average, was the lowest since Sept. 4, according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracking project. Jackie Borchardt, The Enquirer, 1 Oct. 2021 Cremation, meanwhile, generates an estimated 534.6 pounds of carbon dioxide per person—more than the per capita emissions of Afghanistan. Eleanor Cummins, Wired, 1 Oct. 2021 On a per capita basis, Cleveland is getting the second-most money per resident, behind St. Louis and ahead of Detroit, in the Top 10. Robin Goist, cleveland, 23 Sep. 2021 In New York and California, the average daily deaths are 35 and 117, respectively, for per capita rates of 0.18 and 0.3. Cayla Harris, San Antonio Express-News, 23 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'per capita.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of per capita

1682, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for per capita

Medieval Latin, by heads

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Time Traveler for per capita

Time Traveler

The first known use of per capita was in 1682

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Dictionary Entries Near per capita


per capita

per caput

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Statistics for per capita

Last Updated

22 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Per capita.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for per capita

per capita


English Language Learners Definition of per capita

: by or for each person

per capita

adverb or adjective
per cap·​i·​ta | \ pər-ˈka-pə-tə How to pronounce per capita (audio) \

Kids Definition of per capita

: by or for each person What is the per capita income?

per capita

adverb or adjective
per cap·​i·​ta | \ pər-ˈka-pə-tə How to pronounce per capita (audio) \

Legal Definition of per capita

1 : equally to each individual all property to pass to the descendants per capita used of a method of distributing an especially intestate estate — compare per stirpes

Note: Per capita distribution of an estate provides each descendant with an equal share of the estate's assets regardless of the degree of his or her kinship. Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc., all receive equal shares.

2 : per unit of population : by or for each individual a high per capita tax burden

History and Etymology for per capita

Medieval Latin, by heads

More from Merriam-Webster on per capita

Nglish: Translation of per capita for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of per capita for Arabic Speakers


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