What Is Per Capita Consumption?

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Per capita consumption refers to the average consumption per person within a population. While this information can be helpful for determining how much a population consumes, it does not account for consumption disparities between individuals.

Knowing how much a nation or other group of people consumes is helpful for some types of analysis but useless for others. Per capita consumption is calculated by dividing the consumption total by the population of the group in question. However, per capita consumption can be skewed by a large wealthy class that consumes far more than the average person or by a large poor class that consumes less than those in the middle and upper classes.