National capital – What it is, definition and concept | 2023

National capital is the sum of productive assets of both public and private origin and whose owner agents share the same nationality.

This term is widely used in the macroeconomic field. Therefore, when speaking of national capital, reference is made to the set of net assets gathered by all the economic agents of a nation.

We can define this type of capital as the goods destined to produce in a certain national economy. In addition to this, they must be owned by natural and legal persons with said origin and nationality.

In the Anglo-Saxon context, this concept is usually referred to under the name of capital stock of a nation.


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Conceptually, national capital is the set of assets of both private and public origin.

In this way, the capital denominated as national is the sum of capital owned by the State and the capital owned by families and companies of a certain nationality.

As indicated at the beginning, this magnitude will mean the available capital capacity. In the form of durable goods whose destination is the production and realization of goods and services.

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In this sense, it is necessary to highlight that it includes assets owned and developed within the geographical territory of said country as well as outside of it.

An example of this may be the consideration of the assets of a Spanish company that develops part of its productive activity outside its borders.

Their corresponding productive assets would be considered national at the same level as the assets of another company that produces products within the national territory.

National Capital vs. National Wealth

A concept that is usually related to national capital is that of national wealth.

However, it is convenient to delimit the differential aspects between both terms. Initially, the national capital is destined to generate value for its country.

Mainly, national wealth assumes the sum of total capital existing in a country as factors of production. Although also durable and productive goods available in their corresponding economy.

In the same way, there are other elements, both tangible and intangible, that play a special role when establishing these measurements by economic and statistical institutions.

This is the case with areas such as cultural and intellectual property or the environmental and climate effect.

In other words, from the theoretical point of view it can be assumed that the national capital is an integral magnitude but not a total of the so-called national wealth.

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