per capita

(redirected from per caput)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial.

Per Capita

[Latin, By the heads or polls.] A term used in the Descent and Distribution of the estate of one who dies without a will. It means to share and share alike according to the number of individuals.

In a per capita distribution, an equal share of an estate is given to each heir, all of whom stand in equal degree of relationship from a decedent. For example, a woman died intestate, that is, without a will. Her husband and three children predeceased her, and her only living heirs are her ten grandchildren. These grandchildren will take per capita. In other words, each grandchild will receive one-tenth of the estate.

Per capita differs from per stirpes, where persons do not inherit in their individual capacity but take as part of a group represented by a deceased ancestor closer in line to the decedent.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

per capita

adj. Latin for "by head," meaning to be determined by the number of people. To find the per capita cost, the total number of persons are added up and the bill, tax or benefits are divided equally among those persons.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

per capita

‘by head’, one of two common methods of division of a fund, usually an estate. Per capita is division by head. Everyone gets an equal share, no matter how close or distant the relationship. Per stirpes is ‘division by branch’ - each branch of the family gets the same. For example, Robert has two sons, William and Edward. William's sons are Tom and David. Edward's sons are Mike and Harry. If William dies and then Robert dies, then the estate would per capita be divided equally between Tom, David and Edward, each getting one third (Mike and Harry being excluded by their living father, Edward). If the division is per stirpes, then the William branch and the Edward branch get half each. Edward is alive and gets his half, whereas on this model Tom and David take a per capita division of the amount allocated to the stirpes, i.e. one quarter of the estate.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

PER CAPITA, by the head or polls. This term is applied when an estate is to be divided share and share alike. For example, if a legacy be given to the issue of A B, and A B at the time of his death, shall have two children and two grandchildren, his estate shall be divided into four parts, and the children and grandchildren shall each have one of them. 3 Ves. 257; 13 Ves. 344. Vide 1 Rop. on Leg. 126, 130.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 2009, the amount of goods and services ordered by local consumers on the Internet averaged over GBP500 per caput, which contributed about 20% to overall consumer spending in the country.
It is less well known as a nation with one of the world's highest living standards (in per caput GDP it ranks sixth, right after Luxembourg) and less, still, as a country with the globe's highest Internet and mobile telephone penetration rates.
The Federal Department of Fisheries estimated per caput growth of fish consumption in Nigeria from 13.71kg in 1993 to 14.49kg in the year 2000 [19].
CIP is an indicator of a country's industrial competitiveness, and calculated based on six major parameters, including the average manufacturing added value per caput, the share of manufacturing added value to GDP, the share of manufacturing added value of the global total, manufactured exports per caput, the share of manufactured exports of the global total, the share of middle and high-tech products in manufactured exports.