Talk:Per capita income

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Ah, but what is the ranking of median incomes, which is probably more meaningful to the ordinary person than mean incomes?

That would be interesting, but of course it would not be PER CAPITA INCOME (which is a technical term with a precise meaning) it would be MEDIAN INCOME.

Yeah, so?  :-) Take this as a criticism of the usefulness of per capita income as a measure of standard of living.

And how about a ranking (and simply quantification!) in terms of purchasing power of ordinary nonluxury goods? This will help explain the strangeness of Swaziland's average $200 per year. I wouldn't be able to live on $200 per year in the U.S., but if I brought $200 with me to Swaziland, I could make it stretch so that I could live adequately, given that I have modest requirements, albeit not to average U.S. standards. E.g., a rouble these days costs about $0.035. But the purchasing power of a rouble in Russian society, when purchasing stuff like groceries and clothes and rent, is more like $0.50. So, for example, (see this page) an average Russian these days makes a rather paltry 24,000 roubles per year; that's just $840 by the exchange rate, but in purchasing power to the Russian, it's more along the lines of $12,000. -- Larry Sanger

That is one of the main sticking points with these numerical measurements. They measure only one side of the equation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:37, 22 March 2001 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Another point: Should per capita income include all sources of income?

For example:

  • wages earned
  • government subsidies
    • housing
    • medical
  • royalty payments (Alaska, oil royalty payments)

You are talking about household income here. It inludes: income derived from work (ie wages, salaries), income derived from capital (ie interest, dividends, capital gains), and net transfers [transfers received (ie pensions, welfare, etc) - transfers contributed (ie government health insurance, pension schemes)]. Per Capita Income, however, is normally the GDP divided by the number of citizens. WojPob — Preceding unsigned comment added by Larry_Sanger (talkcontribs) 19:29, 22 March 2001 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Does per capita mean that the income is per year or per month? (I came here form Nepal and this information isn't mentioned here nor there. Perheapes it would be worth to mark it in the article... Cek — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cek (talkcontribs) 17:43, 2 March 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Per capita" means "per person", so it doesn't say anything about the amount of time. That said, per capita incomes are usually reported on a per-year basis; a longer name would be "annual per capita income". CDC (talk) 17:04, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Does the figure include children/teens under 18? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rdoger6424 (talkcontribs) 01:52, 13 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It would have to. A population count can't accurately determine who is able to work and who isn't. For example, if a 15 year old kid isn't counted, then a fully disabled adult probably shouldn't be counted either. Including everyone is the objective way to do it, and it makes sense because non-working people are still part of the economy. Mcavic (talk) 11:39, 18 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Really per capita?[edit]

Does per capita generally really mean that? - children, retired people, etc.? --— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:42, 15 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, it should. See #2 above. Mcavic (talk) 11:40, 18 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Question and links[edit]

Where can I see a link to a WTO or world bank page about per capita income of all the countries around the world. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:14, 27 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Per Capita Income vs. Personal Per Capita Income[edit]

Does anybody understand the difference between per capita income and personal per capita income? — Preceding unsigned comment added by GetAMac (talkcontribs) 19:27, 2 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

not really Gbnogkfs 5 October 2006, 14:52 (UT)

Pro capite, -NOT- per capita[edit]

I studied Latin at High School (5 years), and beside that, as I am currently living in Italy, I can ensure that per capita is a term that is never used. In Italy the proper terms are:

Pro capite
reddito pro capite

the latter means income for each head. --Clearcontent 00:00, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Pro capite" means "for" as in pro, i.e. pro/for the benefit of the head, or alternatively before/in front of the head. While it may be different in Italian, per capita is the phrase used in English, so that should be what the article is named. Travelbird 00:41, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We do not care: if you Brit-Americans want to use Latin mottoes, terms and sentences, you should use in their original form; actually it always happens, and it's the first time I see such a BIG mistake. --Clearcontent 00:55, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure if this is some kind of joke but putting a speedy tag for nonsense on this article borders on vandalism. Ifnord 01:05, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If we want to use Latin words and terms in English, we should respect the traditions and the history of a nation aged 2500 years; in other words we need to use the words in their original form, meaning and context. I admit that it usually happens. This is the first time I see such a big mistake. It would be preferable to use personal income, for person, for head and so on. After all, this article do not cite sources, and I really believe we have met just the result of some editing mistake. Also, please do not forget WP:BITE. Best regards. --Clearcontent 01:11, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A Google search for 'per capita' yields just under 47 million hits. [2] A Google search for 'pro capite' yields 19,000 [3] when looking for English only pages. Even so, the first page is Italian. What possible reference do you have that the title of this article is wrong? Ifnord 05:05, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Latin dictionaries and Latin books. Sorry but I'm very busy in my life and I can't assist anymore in this matter. Bye.--''clearcontent'' a.k.a. '''Doktor Who''' 05:15, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A quick look at the Oxford English Dictionary confirms that the English usage is definitely 'per capita'. This derives from the Latin 'per' - being the accusative case of 'for' and the Latin 'caput' meaning 'head'. Thus it literally means 'per head'. An important point to consider is that the form of Latin which the English term derives from is 17th century Latin and not Latin as the Romans spoke it. Moreover modern Italian is not directly derived from Vulgate Latin, which was the language spoken by inhabitants of the western Roman Empire. See Vulgate Latin "Vulgate Latin evolved into the Romance languages in about the ninth century and it was from these dialects that modern Italian evolved". See also Italian Language "Italian was first formalised in the first years of the 14th century through the works of Dante Alighieri, who mixed southern Italian (romance) languages, especially Sicilian, with his native Tuscan in his epic poems known collectively as the Commedia". Consequentially the terms 'per capita' and 'pro capit' have entered English and Italian respectively through different routes. There are a great many Latin derived terms which are used today in modern English and that are accepted as English words in their own right. Their forms in modern English are not always direct derivatives of Vulgate Latin. Morgan Leigh 05:40, 27 June 2006 (UTC) (Also posted to talk:per capita)Reply[reply]

Anyway, in Italy pro capite is definitely regarded as a Latin expression, not an Italian one. Please take a look at this abstract from the Confessions of Saint Augusstine. Bye. --[[--''clearcontent'' a.k.a. '''Doktor Who''' 06:31, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Pro capite" (using pro in the sense of "per") is late Latin. Italian and several other languages (re German "Pro Kopf") took the word pro and its meaning from late Latin, while English, has stuck with the Classical Latin meaning of pro, which is "for (the benefit) or in front of". "Pro capite" is definately an Italian expression, while "Per capita" is an English one. In fact there are many words and phrases taken from other languages that were corrupted along the way. We can't just change Europe to Evropi, just because Late Ancient and Modern Greek have it differently. Travelbird 06:53, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We should definitely stop using old words and terms, in my opinion. --''clearcontent'' a.k.a. '''Doktor Who''' 07:14, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, the discussion about pro or per aside, I still don't see how capita can be the accusative singular of caput , be it in vulgar Latin or 17th century Latin. Then again, this is not the only (American-) English expression derived from Latin that is incorrect in its common usage. -- — Preceding undated comment added

You must study Latin before talking about it. "Per Capita" is a nonsense in (modern and ancient) Latin language, since it means "per heads" while "per" cannot be used before plurals when used with the meaning of "for each". It is just a misspelled phrase, but you can use it as you want, just be aware of it's origins. N.B.: "Pro capite" is not an Italian phrase, it is a Latin phrase used by italians, just like lots of other phrases. Anonymous 05:47, 15 May 2009 (UTC) (Also posted to talk:Per capita income) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

World Bank Figures for Per Capita are different[edit]

Guys I just did some research and you will be surprised (or not) to find that the IMF's figures are different than the WorldBank's figures.

Just from a few comparisons to the US's $42,000 per capita:

  • Iceland: $46,300
  • Denmark: $47, 400
  • Switzerland: $54,900
  • Luxemburg: $65,600!!!

I am guessing that the WorldBank is the better authority on this?,,contentMDK:20535285~menuPK:1192694~pagePK:64133150~piPK:64133175~theSitePK:239419,00.html

MPA — Preceding undated comment added 04:51, 23 August 2006

See List of countries by GDP (PPP) for differences in figures from IMF, World Bank and CIA World Factbook. We often use the IMF figures in these kind of economic lists because it’s considered (by some) to be the most neutral and user friendly source. --Van helsing 14:09, 23 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Why is Luxemburg on the list twice? Also, the intro to the list says it has the last place country. Someone (not me) needs to fix this. Papercrab 21:37, 28 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

UPDATE: Luxembourg is THRICE on the list..........Someone(obviously not me) needs to fix this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:09, 20 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dollars or euros?[edit]

The list of countries and their corresponding per capita income does not state explicitly if the figures are in US Dollars or Euros, although there is a statement that says it is measured in terms of widely used currency. It does help- especially for comparison- to mention the currency, when numbers are published. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:12, 29 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some national per capita income levels[edit]

What is the unit of currency for these data? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:12, 26 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

always USD$ --C9900 (talk) 15:20, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is there any source for gdp per capita at city/region level?[edit]

--C9900 (talk) 15:20, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This does not seem coherent but I don't have time to fix it:

"The total income is compared between each country or state comparing the total income tells the average income... hence we compare the average income which is the total income divided by the total population... the average income is called as per capita income per captia income income is measured as national income/total poppulation of the country calculator" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:08, 17 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Undefined term "hi 11"[edit]

What does hi 11 mean in relation to population estimates? The term isn't defined here or anywhere else in Wikipedia. Is this a typo? (talk) 21:59, 24 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Effects on Per Capita Income[edit]

A new section titled “Effects on Per Capita Income” could be added. In NBER Working Paper No. 9490, Jeffrey D. Sachs demonstrates “that levels of per capita income, economic growth, and other economic and demographic dimensions are strongly correlated with geographical and ecological variables such as climate zone, disease ecology, and distance from the coast.” In NBER Working paper No. 880, Richard H. Steckel shows that average “height is nonlinearly related to per capita income and that the distribution of income is an important determinant of average height.” Lainov (talk) 21:41, 25 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fantastic point. Thanks, hadn't factored that in at all.: — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2604:2000:DDC7:1700:1180:C261:C499:5D79 (talk) 05:14, 5 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

PCI is flawed on purpose to be higher and thus less govt spending on poor communities[edit]

Per capita income doesn't factor in that in some communities, cultures, large segments of the population are unemployed and underemployed.
Per capita income doesn't factor in the low-wage illegal immigrants that work as laborers, maids, etc for the wealthy. Their incomes are typically very low, and would lower the per-capita income. By excluding them, and by excluding the underemployed, the per-capital-income is skewed (much higher than it should be, therefore less government support is given to poorer communities.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2604:2000:DDC7:1700:1180:C261:C499:5D79 (talk) 05:12, 5 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Formulas for averaging[edit]

Looking at New York's 12th congressional district, which indicates that the district has the highest per capita annual income in the US at 75k. Is there a formula for figuring out the distribution? Its probably not 100% at 75k, so what does the curve look like? -Inowen (nlfte) 21:11, 30 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]