UK inflation rate in 1839: 6.86%

UK Inflation Calculator


Inflation in 1839 and Its Effect on Pound Value

Purchasing power decreased by 6.86% in 1839 compared to 1838. On average, you would have to spend 6.86% more money in 1839 than in 1838 for the same item.

In other words, £1 in 1838 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £1.07 in 1839.

The 1838 inflation rate was 0.99%. The inflation rate in 1839 was 6.86%. The 1839 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 2.61% per year between 1839 and 2019.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the composite price index (CPI). The CPI in 1839 was 10.90. It was 10.20 in the previous year, 1838. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Office for National Statistics to officially determine inflation.

Inflation from 1838 to 1839
Average inflation rate 6.86%
Converted amount (£1 base) £1.07
Price difference (£1 base) £0.07
CPI in 1838 10.200
CPI in 1839 10.900
Inflation in 1838 0.99%
Inflation in 1839 6.86%

UK inflation chart from 1988 to 2017. Based on the UK Consumer Price Index.

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for £1, 1838 to 1839

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1839CPI in 1838
1838 GBP value
1839 GBP value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The UK CPI was 10.2 in the year 1838 and 10.9 in 1839:


£1 in 1838 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as £1.07 in 1839.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1838 and 1839, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1839 - CPI in 1838CPI in 1838
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

10.9 - 10.210.2

News headlines from 1838

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

  • Samuel Morse sends the first telegraph message to Alfred Vail, in a public demonstration of the machine.
  • Queen Victoria's is crowned in Westminster Abbey.
  • Huskar Colliery Mining Disaster occurs in England, resulting in 26 children losing their lives. This leads to the "Mines and Collieries Act" which banned underground work for women and children.

Data Source & Citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the composite price index published by the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS). A composite index is created by combining price data from several different published sources, both official and unofficial. The Consumer Price Index, normally used to compute inflation, has only been tracked since 1988. All inflation calculations after 1988 use the Office for National Statistics' Consumer Price Index, except for 2017, which is based on The Bank of England's forecast.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “Inflation Rate in 1839 | UK Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 18 Apr. 2019,

Special thanks to QuickChart for providing downloadable chart images. is a reference website maintained by the Official Data Foundation.

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