In economics, whenever we refer to income, usually we mean money income. According to Seligman, “Income in the economic logic is the flow of satisfactions from economic goods”. We know that every economic goods form wealth. The major source of income is wealth. For illustration, when you own a house, it is your wealth. When you get rent from it, it is your income. There are two points concerning income – time and amount.

There are two types of income:

(1) Money income and
(2) Real Income: Usually people earn their incomes in the form of money.

Money income is also termed as nominal income. However the standard of living of people of a country based on their real income. Real income depends upon the buying power of money and that in turn depends on cost level. Real income refers to the command of a person over real commodities and services. Merely since money incomes of people rises, we can’t say that they are better off. It all depends upon how many goods they are able to command.

Assume that, my money income is $ 10, and price of 1 kilo rice is $ 10, then I can purchase one kilo of rice or my income is worth of only one kilo of rice. In the later month, my money income is increased to $ 15; however the price of one kilo of rice is raised to $ 20. Now my income is worth only ¾ kilo of rice. So, despite increase in money income, my real income has come down due to higher raise in price. Actual income is price adjusted money income.

National Income:
The National income refers to value of commodities and services generated by a country throughout a year.

Marshall stated national income as follows : “The labor and capital of a country performing on its natural resources generate annually a certain net aggregate of commodities, material and im-material, involving services of all types……… This is accurate net annual income or revenue of the country, or the national dividend”.

From national income of a country, we can determine whether the country is rich or poor. And from the composition of national income, we can determine the relative significance of agriculture, industry & service sector in economy.

We acquire per capita income [(i.e.,) income per person per year] by dividing national income by population of the country.


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