Updated July 26, 2023
GDP Per Capita Formula (Table of Contents)
What is GDP Per Capita Formula?
The term “GDP per capita” refers to the assessment of the economic output of a country that accounts for the country’s population. In other words, GDP per capita is the gross domestic product of a country that is apportioned against its entire population.
However, it is important to note that usually real GDP (not nominal GDP) is used for the calculation of GDP per capita as it curbs the effects of inflation and aids comparison across the years. The formula for GDP per capita is quite simple and it can be derived by dividing the real GDP of a country by its population. Mathematically, it is represented as,
Examples of GDP Per Capita Formula (With Excel Template)
Let’s take an example to understand the calculation of GDP Per Capita in a better manner.
GDP Per Capita Formula – Example #1
Let us take the example of a country with a real GDP of $10 trillion during 2018 and a population of 250 million as on December 31, 2018. Calculate the GDP per capita for the country during the year 2018.
Solution:
GDP Per Capita of the country is calculated using the formula given below
GDP Per Capita = Real GDP / Population
 GDP Per Capita = $10 trillion / 250 million
 GDP Per Capita = $40,000
Therefore, the GDP per capita for the country stood at $40,000 during the year 2018.
GDP Per Capita Formula – Example #2
Let us take the example of a country with the following information for the year 2018. Calculate the GDP per capita of the country based on the given information.
Solution:
Nominal GDP of the country is calculated using the formula given below
Nominal GDP = Private Consumption + Gross Investment + Government Investment + (Exports – Imports)
 Nominal GDP = $6 trillion + $10 trillion + $4 trillion + ($2.5 trillion – $1 trillion)
 Nominal GDP = $21.5 trillion
Real GDP of the country is calculated using the formula given below
Real GDP = (Nominal GDP / GDP Deflator) * 100
 Real GDP = $21.5 trillion / 125 * 100
 Real GDP = $17.2 trillion
GDP Per Capita of the country is calculated using the formula given below
GDP Per Capita = Real GDP / Population
 GDP Per Capita = $17.2 trillion / 500 million
 GDP Per Capita = $34,400
Therefore, the GDP per capita for the country stood at $34,400 for the year 2018.
GDP Per Capita Formula – Example #3
Let us take the case of the US for the year 2018. The following information was available. Calculate the GDP per capita of the USbased on the given information.
Solution:
Nominal GDP of the US is calculated using the formula given below
Nominal GDP = Private Consumption of Goods + Private Consumption of Services + Gross Fixed Investment + Change in Private Inventories + Government Investment + (Exports – Imports)
 Nominal GDP = $4.34 trillion + $9.61 trillion + $3.60 trillion + $0.06 trillion + $3.52 trillion + ($2.53 trillion – $3.16 trillion)
 Nominal GDP = $20.50 trillion
Real GDP of the US is calculated using the formula given below
Real GDP = (Nominal GDP / GDP Deflator) * 100
 Real GDP = $20.50 trillion / 111.256 * 100
 Real GDP = $18.43 trillion
GDP Per Capita of the US is calculated using the formula given below
GDP Per Capita = Real GDP / Population
 GDP Per Capita = $18.43 trillion / 328.23 million
 GDP Per Capita = $56,137
Therefore, the GDP per capita for the US stood at $56,137 for the year 2018.
Link: https://www.bea.gov/system/files/201903/gdp4q18_ini_2.pdf
Explanation
The formula for GDP per capita can be derived by using the following steps:
Step 1: Firstly, determine the nominal GDP of the subject country on the basis of its private consumption, gross investment, government investment, exports and imports as shown below.
Nominal GDP = Private Consumption + Gross Investment + Government Investment + (Exports – Imports)
Step 2: Next, determine the GDP deflator which is a measure of the inflation of the country based on a designated base year.
Step 3: Next, calculate the real GDP of the country by dividing the nominal GDP (step 1) by the GDP deflator (step 2) as shown below.
Real GDP = Nominal GDP / GDP deflator
Step 4: Next, determine the population of the country and it is easily available at the governmental census websites of each country.
Step 5: Finally, the formula for GDP per capita can be derived by dividing the real GDP (step 3) of the country by its population (step 4) as shown below.
GDP Per Capita = Real GDP / Population
Relevance and Uses of GDP Per Capita Formula
It is important to understand the concept of GDP per capita because it serves as a tool to measure the economic prosperity of a country which is also used to compare countries and rank them accordingly. Interestingly, the GDP per capita growth will be negative for a country despite being a growing economy if its population grows faster than its GDP. “GDP per capita” is also referred to as “Per capita GDP”.
GDP Per Capita Formula Calculator
You can use the following GDP Per Capita Calculator
Real GDP  
Population  
GDP Per Capita  
GDP Per Capita  = 


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