Average per Capita Consumption
Consumption, Average per Capita
an index that reflects the level and dynamics of personal consumption. It is calculated by dividing the total quantity of material goods consumed (or their value) by the population. Indexes of per capita consumption of material goods in physical terms are widely used in statistics and planning. Generalizing indexes of per capita consumption are usually figured in monetary terms. Thus, the value of all material goods consumed by the population may be determined from data on the consumption fund in the national income. In the USSR the consumption fund was more than 1,000 rubles per capita in 1975.
Indexes of per capita consumption for services may be constructed in monetary terms. Thus, in 1975 the per capita consumption of paid services in the USSR was 94 rubles. (Paid services include housing and municipal and domestic services, as well as public transportation, communications, and entertainment.) The total volume of material goods and of all services consumed, both paid and free, can be calculated on a per capita basis.
In determining the dynamics of consumption, the cost indexes of per capita consumption must be figured in comparable fixed (constant) prices—that is, in terms of prices during a particular year. In Soviet statistics and planning, indexes of per capita consumption are also calculated for social sections (classes and social groups) and economic regions.
V. F. MAIER [20–1303–4; updated]