What is Per Capita?

Legal Definition
Per capita is a Latin prepositional phrase: per (preposition, taking the accusative case, meaning “by, by means of”) and capita (accusative plural of the noun caput, “head”). The phrase thus means “by heads” or “for each head”, i.e., per individual/person. The term is used in a wide variety of social sciences and statistical research contexts, including government statistics, economic indicators, and built environment studies.

It is commonly and usually used in the field of statistics in place of saying “for each person” or “per person”. It is also used in wills to indicate that each of the named beneficiaries should receive, by devise or bequest, equal shares of the estate. This is in contrast to a per stirpes division, in which each branch (Latin stirps, plural stirpes) of the inheriting family inherits an equal share of the estate.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
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.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
Lat. By the heads or polls; according to the number of individuals; share and share alike. This term, derived from the civil law, is much used in the law of descent and distribution, and denotes that method of dividing an intestate estate by which an equal share is given to cach of a number of persons, all of whom stand in equal degree to the decedent, without reference to their stocks or the right of representation. It is the antithesis of per stirpes, (q. v.)
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
By heads; by the poll; as individuals. In the distribution of an intestate's personalty, the persons legally entitled to take are said to take per capita when they claim, each in his own right, as in equal degree of kindred ; in contradistinction to clniming by right of representation, or per stirpes.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
"By head". Dividing money up strictly and equally according to the number of beneficiaries
Legal Definition
By heads; according to the number of persons.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary