Commonly used as a measure of economic health, gross domestic product (GDP) is an economic term that is used to provide a monetary value to all the finished goods and services produced in a country over a certain period of time. It includes all private and government consumption, government spending, investments and exports less imports. The equation for GDP is:
GDP = C + G + I + NX
where C is equal to consumption, G is equal to government spending, I is the business spending on capital (investments), and NX equals export - imports. One commonly cited measure is GDP is GDP per capita.
Go to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) for the most recent GDP number. GDP is reported on a quarterly basis.
Click on the most recent report and go to the first paragraph, which always provides the new GDP number as well as commentary on the direction of the number (contraction or growth).
Determine the most recent United States population figure, which is calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Divide the GDP number by the number of people in the United States for GDP per capita. For instance, if GDP for a nation is $100 and that nation has a population of 20, then the nation's GDP is $100 / 20 or $5.