The U.S. dollar experienced an **average inflation rate** of 3.78% per year between 1940 and 2017. $1 in the year 1940 is worth $17.47 in 2017.

The **current inflation rate** in 2017 is 1.88%^{1}.

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**How to calculate the inflation rate since 1940**

Start with the CPI inflation formula:

CPI in 2017 / CPI in 1940 * 1940 USD value = 2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 14 in the year 1940 and 244.524 in 2017:

244.524 / 14 * $1 = **$17.47**

The "purchasing power" of $1 from 1940 is $17.47 in 2017.

**Inflation Data Source: **The Bureau of Labor Statistics' annual Consumer Price Index (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.