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Annually vs. Per Year: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 20, 2024
Annually refers to something occurring once every year, while per year is used to denote frequency or quantity within any year.

Key Differences

Annually often implies a regular, singular event or action that happens once each year. Per year, however, is a term used to quantify or measure something over the course of a year, without the implication of singularity.
Annually is typically used when referring to events, such as anniversaries or festivals that occur at a specific time each year. In contrast, per year is used in contexts like statistics or salaries, where it describes a rate or total over a year.
Annually can convey a sense of tradition or routine, suggesting an event or occurrence that is repeated in a similar manner each year. Per year, on the other hand, is more neutral and quantitative, focusing on the idea of a year as a unit of measurement.
When something is done annually, it often has a planned or anticipated aspect, like annual meetings or check-ups. Per year usage, however, is common in more variable contexts, such as calculating average rainfall per year.
Annually is often associated with events or activities that are significant enough to be noted on an annual basis. Per year, conversely, is used in more general or broad contexts where the annual frequency or amount is of interest.

Comparison Chart


Event or occurrence once a year
Rate or amount within a year

Contextual Usage

Specific annual events
Quantitative measures


Tradition, routine
Neutrality, calculation

Frequency Implication

Singular annual occurrence
Ongoing or cumulative over year

Typical Context Examples

Anniversaries, annual reports
Salary, statistics

Annually and Per Year Definitions


Pertaining to an annual event or occurrence.
They conduct an annual review annually.

Per Year

For each year.
He earns $50,000 per year.


Relating to a period of one year.
He checks the equipment annually for maintenance.

Per Year

Within the duration of a year.
The company's revenue is $1 million per year.


Happening at intervals of a year.
She visits her hometown annually.

Per Year

Annually, in terms of quantity or rate.
The city receives an average of 20 inches of rain per year.


Occurring once every year.
The festival is held annually in July.

Per Year

Measured on a yearly basis.
The car's depreciation is calculated at $2,000 per year.


In a yearly manner.
The organization publishes a report annually.

Per Year

Calculated over the course of a year.
She reads about 30 books per year.


Recurring, done, or performed every year; yearly
An annual medical examination.


Of, relating to, or determined by a year
An annual income.


(Botany) Living or growing for only one year or season.


A periodical published yearly; a yearbook.


(Botany) A plant that completes its entire life cycle in a single growing season.


Once every year without fail, yearly
The Sunshine Festival is held annually, at the end of May.


Yearly; year by year.


Without missing a year;
They travel to China annually


By the year; every year (usually with reference to a sum of money paid or received);
He earned $100,000 per annum
We issue six volumes per annum


Can annually refer to more than one event?

Annually typically refers to a single event or action repeated each year.

Does annually imply a specific time of year?

Often, yes. Annually usually pertains to a specific annual time or event.

Does annually have a traditional connotation?

Often, as it can imply routine or traditional annual events.

What does annually mean?

Annually means occurring once every year.

Is per year used for calculations?

Yes, per year is often used in quantitative contexts like calculations.

Can per year be used for salaries?

Absolutely, it's commonly used to express annual salaries.

Is per year a neutral term?

Yes, it's a neutral term used for measurement and calculation.

How is per year used differently from annually?

Per year is used to quantify or rate something within a year, unlike the singular implication of annually.

Is annually suitable for financial contexts?

Yes, especially for annual reports or yearly financial events.

How is per year used in statistics?

In statistics, per year can refer to average rates or occurrences over a year.

Can per year refer to averages?

Yes, per year is commonly used to express averages over a year.

Does annually mean the same as yearly?

Yes, annually and yearly are generally synonymous.

Can per year refer to cumulative amounts?

Yes, it can refer to cumulative totals or rates over a year.

How do businesses use per year?

Businesses use per year for financial rates, averages, or totals.

Can per year be used in scientific measurements?

Yes, it's used for measurements and observations over a year.

Is annually used in legal contexts?

Yes, for things like annual compliance or reporting requirements.

Does annually imply regularity?

Typically, yes, it suggests a regular, yearly occurrence.

Can something happen more than annually?

If it occurs more than once a year, it's more frequent than annually.

Can per year imply fluctuation?

Yes, as it can be used for averages that may vary each year.

Is annually specific to calendar years?

It usually aligns with calendar years but can refer to any consistent 12-month period.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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