# How to Calculate Per Capita Consumption

Per capita consumption

Consumption is commonly used in the calculation of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). GDP is an economic term that refers to the national income and output for a country's economy. Defined as the total market value of all final goods and services produced, the equation for GDP is: GDP = consumption + gross investment + government spending + (exports ? imports). Consumption is usually split between private consumption and government consumption.

## Step 1

Determine private consumption in the U.S., measured in dollars. This number is published every quarter by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The title of the report is called "Gross Domestic Product." See Resources for a link.

## Step 2

Determine government consumption in the U.S., measured in dollars. This is also listed on the report published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

## Step 3

Add personal and government consumption, in dollars, to obtain total U.S. consumption.

## Step 4

Determine the U.S. population. That number is reported by the Census Bureau. See Resources for a link.

## Step 5

Divide total consumption, in dollars, by the total population to obtain per capita consumption.

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