''Per capita'' is a Latin prepositional phrase: ''per'' (preposition, taking the accusative case, meaning "by means of") and ''capita'' (accusative plural of the noun ''caput'', "head"). The phrase thus means "by heads" or "for each head", i.e., per individual/person. The term is used in a wide variety of
social sciences
social sciences
and statistical research contexts, including government statistics, economic indicators, and built environment studies. It is commonly and usually used in the field of
statistics Statistics is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. In applying statistics to a scientific, industrial, or social problem, it is conventional to begin with a statistical ...
in place of saying "per person" (although ''per caput'' is the Latin for "per head"). It is also used in
will Will may refer to: Common meanings * Will and testament A will or testament is a legal document that expresses a person's ( testator) wishes as to how their property (estate (law), estate) is to be distributed after their death and as to which ...
s to indicate that each of the named beneficiaries should receive, by devise or
bequestA bequest is property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs to or with something, whether as an attribute or as a component of said thing. In the context of this article, it is one or more compone ...
, equal shares of the estate. This is in contrast to a ''
per stirpes PeR (Please Explain the Rhythm) is a Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ), officially known as the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is one of the Baltic states; a ...
'' division, in which each branch (Latin '' stirps'', plural ''stirpes'') of the inheriting family inherits an equal share of the estate. This is often used with the ‘2-0 rule’, a statistical principle that determines which group is larger per capita. Under the 2-0 rule, a group is the largest per capita if it has both the biggest total size and size of the group of the objects in question, therefore resulting in a 2-0 score.

See also

Per capita income Per capita income (PCI) or average income measures the average income earned per person in a given area (city, region, country, etc.) in a specified year. It is calculated by dividing the area's total income by its total population. Per capita ...


Latin words and phrases Social statistics {{Statistics-stub