$1 in 1915 → $1.71 in 1919

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$1 in 1915 → $1.71 in 1919

U.S. Inflation Rate, $1 in 1915 to 1919

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 1919 are 71.29% higher than average prices throughout 1915. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 14.40% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, $1 in 1915 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.71 in 1919, a difference of $0.71 over 4 years.

The 1915 inflation rate was 1.00%. The inflation rate in 1919 was 14.57%. The 1919 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 2.73% per year between 1919 and 2019.


Inflation from 1915 to 1919
Cumulative price change 71.29%
Average inflation rate 14.40%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.71
Price difference ($1 base) $0.71
CPI in 1915 10.100
CPI in 1919 17.300
Inflation in 1915 1.00%
Inflation in 1919 14.57%

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
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Buying power of $1 in 1915

This chart shows calculation of buying power equivalence, often referred to as "the value of a dollar" over time for $1 in 1915 (price index tracking began in 1635).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, each of these USD amounts below is equal in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1915 $1.00 1.00%
1916 $1.08 7.92%
1917 $1.27 17.43%
1918 $1.50 17.97%
1919 $1.71 14.57%
1920 $1.98 15.61%
1921 $1.77 -10.50%
1922 $1.66 -6.15%
1923 $1.69 1.79%
1924 $1.69 0.00%
1925 $1.73 2.34%
1926 $1.75 1.14%
1927 $1.72 -1.69%
1928 $1.69 -1.72%
1929 $1.69 0.00%
1930 $1.65 -2.34%
1931 $1.50 -8.98%
1932 $1.36 -9.87%
1933 $1.29 -5.11%
1934 $1.33 3.08%
1935 $1.36 2.24%
1936 $1.38 1.46%
1937 $1.43 3.60%
1938 $1.40 -2.08%
1939 $1.38 -1.42%
1940 $1.39 0.72%
1941 $1.46 5.00%
1942 $1.61 10.88%
1943 $1.71 6.13%
1944 $1.74 1.73%
1945 $1.78 2.27%
1946 $1.93 8.33%
1947 $2.21 14.36%
1948 $2.39 8.07%
1949 $2.36 -1.24%
1950 $2.39 1.26%
1951 $2.57 7.88%
1952 $2.62 1.92%
1953 $2.64 0.75%
1954 $2.66 0.75%
1955 $2.65 -0.37%
1956 $2.69 1.49%
1957 $2.78 3.31%
1958 $2.86 2.85%
1959 $2.88 0.69%
1960 $2.93 1.72%
1961 $2.96 1.01%
1962 $2.99 1.00%
1963 $3.03 1.32%
1964 $3.07 1.31%
1965 $3.12 1.61%
1966 $3.21 2.86%
1967 $3.31 3.09%
1968 $3.45 4.19%
1969 $3.63 5.46%
1970 $3.84 5.72%
1971 $4.01 4.38%
1972 $4.14 3.21%
1973 $4.40 6.22%
1974 $4.88 11.04%
1975 $5.33 9.13%
1976 $5.63 5.76%
1977 $6.00 6.50%
1978 $6.46 7.59%
1979 $7.19 11.35%
1980 $8.16 13.50%
1981 $9.00 10.32%
1982 $9.55 6.16%
1983 $9.86 3.21%
1984 $10.29 4.32%
1985 $10.65 3.56%
1986 $10.85 1.86%
1987 $11.25 3.65%
1988 $11.71 4.14%
1989 $12.28 4.82%
1990 $12.94 5.40%
1991 $13.49 4.21%
1992 $13.89 3.01%
1993 $14.31 2.99%
1994 $14.67 2.56%
1995 $15.09 2.83%
1996 $15.53 2.95%
1997 $15.89 2.29%
1998 $16.14 1.56%
1999 $16.50 2.21%
2000 $17.05 3.36%
2001 $17.53 2.85%
2002 $17.81 1.58%
2003 $18.22 2.28%
2004 $18.70 2.66%
2005 $19.34 3.39%
2006 $19.96 3.23%
2007 $20.53 2.85%
2008 $21.32 3.84%
2009 $21.24 -0.36%
2010 $21.59 1.64%
2011 $22.27 3.16%
2012 $22.73 2.07%
2013 $23.07 1.46%
2014 $23.44 1.62%
2015 $23.47 0.12%
2016 $23.76 1.26%
2017 $24.27 2.13%
2018 $24.86 2.44%
2019 $25.36 2.01%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1915 to 1919 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $1):

Detroit, Michigan experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 4 years between 1915 and 1919 (16.03%).

San Francisco, California experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 4 years between 1915 and 1919 (12.21%).

Note that some locations showing 0% inflation may have not yet reported latest data.


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1915 would be equivalent to £1.99 in 1919, an absolute change of £0.99 and a cumulative change of 99.09%.

In Canada, CA$1.00 in 1915 would be equivalent to CA$1.62 in 1919, an absolute change of CA$0.62 and a cumulative change of 61.90%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $0.71 and total percent change of 71.29%.


Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1915 and 1919.

Compare these values to the overall average of 14.40% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1 in 1915 → 1919
Food 16.59 84.77 1.85
Shelter 0.00 0.00 1.00
Energy 0.00 0.00 1.00
Apparel 25.01 144.23 2.44
New vehicles 0.00 0.00 1.00
Used cars and trucks 0.00 0.00 1.00
Transportation services 0.00 0.00 1.00
Medical care services 0.00 0.00 1.00
Medical care commodities 0.00 0.00 1.00

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1915. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1, 1915 to 1919

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1919CPI in 1915
×
1915 USD value
=
1919 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 10.1 in the year 1915 and 17.3 in 1919:

17.310.1
×
$1
=
$1.71

$1 in 1915 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1.71 in 1919.

To get the total inflation rate for the 4 years between 1915 and 1919, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1919 - CPI in 1915CPI in 1915
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (4 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

17.3 - 10.110.1
×
100
=
71%

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 14.40% has a compounding effect between 1915 and 1919. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 71.29% over 4 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $1 in the S&P 500 index in 1915, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $1.63 in 1919. This is a return on investment of 63.28%, with an absolute return of $0.63.

These numbers are not inflation adjusted, so they are considered nominal. In order to evaluate the real return on our investment, we must calculate the return with inflation taken into account.

The compounding effect of inflation would account for 41.62% of returns ($0.26) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $1 investment is $0.37.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1915-1919
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $1 $1.63 63.28%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$1 $0.37 36.94%


News headlines from 1915

Politics and news often influence economic performance. Here's what was happening at the time:

  • French troops force Germans back into the Champagne region, suffering losses of 50,000 men and gaining several hundred yards.
  • Germany uses poison gas for the first time in World War I.
  • Almost 430,000 French, British, and Germans are killed in the Battle of Loos.
  • The one-millionth Model T is produced by Ford Motor Company.

Data Source & Citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (CPI), established in 1913. Inflation data from 1665 to 1912 is sourced from a historical study conducted by political science professor Robert Sahr at Oregon State University.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “$1 in 1915 → 1919 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 16 Jul. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/1915-dollars-in-1919?amount=1.

Special thanks to QuickChart for providing downloadable chart images.

in2013dollars.com is a reference website maintained by the Official Data Foundation.


» Read more about inflation and investment.

Inflation from 1915 to 1919
Cumulative price change 71.29%
Average inflation rate 14.40%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.71
Price difference ($1 base) $0.71
CPI in 1915 10.100
CPI in 1919 17.300
Inflation in 1915 1.00%
Inflation in 1919 14.57%
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