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per capita

[per kap-i-tuh] /pər ˈkæp ɪ tə/
adjective, adverb
by or for each individual person:
income per capita.
Law. noting or pertaining to a method of dividing an estate by which all those equally related to the decedent take equal shares individually without regard to the number of lines of descent.
Compare per stirpes.
Origin of per capita
1675-85; < Latin: literally, by heads
Can be confused
per annum, per capita, per diem. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for per capita
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We now sell Canadians products averaging $30 per capita annually.

    East of Suez Frederic Courtland Penfield
  • In Massachusetts a direct appropriation of $150 per capita is made by the state.

    The Deaf Harry Best
  • The per capita appropriations to the several schools range from $260 to $357.

    The Deaf Harry Best
  • Our estimate for Chicago shows more than double that per capita.

    The Arena Various
  • These permits are issued and charged for upon a per capita basis.

    Our National Forests Richard H. Douai Boerker
British Dictionary definitions for per capita

per capita

/pə ˈkæpɪtə/
adjective, adverb
of or for each person
Word Origin
Latin, literally: according to heads
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for per capita

Latin, literally "by the head," from per (see per) + capita "head" (see capital).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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per capita in Culture
per capita [(puhr kap-i-tuh)]

A Latin phrase literally meaning “by heads,” and translated as “for each person.” It is a common unit for expressing data in statistics. A country's per capita personal income, for example, is the average personal income per person.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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