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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for per capita
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What relation can be observed between general industrial conditions and the per capita wealth?

  • We now sell Canadians products averaging $30 per capita annually.

    East of Suez Frederic Courtland Penfield
  • So fast is it growing, that what advances were being made did less than keep up the level of per capita gross product.

    Border, Breed Nor Birth Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • These permits are issued and charged for upon a per capita basis.

    Our National Forests Richard H. Douai Boerker
  • They charged $5.00 a week per capita for three meals, table d'hote, delivered thrice daily.

    What Diantha Did Charlotte Perkins Gilman
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 American Heritage® 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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