Per Capita Expenditure - Statistics & Facts

Per capita data is often used to make macroeconomic data comparable across countries of different sizes. Where absolute data is not comparable, per capita data can be used as it is independent of country size. The most commonly used per capita indicator is the GDP per capita. While the United States dominate absolute GDP rankings, smaller countries like Luxembourg and Switzerland are on top in GDP per capita rankings . Another advantage of per capita data is that it makes numbers, that are otherwise hard to grasp, more understandable by putting them into context.


The projected GDP per capita in the United States is estimated to be 57,300 U.S. dollars by 2016. Alarmingly, the national debt per capita was only slightly lower at 56,380 U.S. dollars in 2015. One large contributor to the excessive national debt of the United States is its large military expenditure. In 2015, U.S. defence/military expenditure per capita amounted to 1,876 U.S. dollars. The magnitude of this number becomes clearer when comparing it to the 6.13 U.S. dollars per capita the federal government spent on the funding of arts and culture in 2013.

Another factor contributing to the public debt problem is the United States' expenditure on health. In 2014, health expenditure per capita in the United States amounted to 8,054 U.S. dollars, which represents the highest value in the world by a wide margin.

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Cost of living in the U.S. - Important statistics

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Per Capita Expenditure Infographic - Americans Are the World's Heaviest Tech Spenders

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