UK inflation rate in 1850: -5.62%

UK Inflation Calculator


Inflation in 1850 and Its Effect on Pound Value

Purchasing power increased by 5.62% in 1850 compared to 1849. On average, you would have to spend 5.62% less money in 1850 than in 1849 for the same item. This is an example of deflation.

In other words, £1 in 1849 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £0.94 in 1850.

The 1849 inflation rate was -6.32%. The inflation rate in 1850 was -5.62%. The 1850 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.94% per year between 1850 and 2019.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the composite price index (CPI). The CPI in 1850 was 8.40. It was 8.90 in the previous year, 1849. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Office for National Statistics to officially determine inflation. Because the 1850 CPI is less than 1849 CPI, negative inflation (also known as deflation) has occurred.

Inflation from 1849 to 1850
Average inflation rate -5.62%
Converted amount (£1 base) £0.94
Price difference (£1 base) £-0.06
CPI in 1849 8.900
CPI in 1850 8.400
Inflation in 1849 -6.32%
Inflation in 1850 -5.62%

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

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for £1, 1849 to 1850

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1850CPI in 1849
1849 GBP value
1850 GBP value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The UK CPI was 8.9 in the year 1849 and 8.4 in 1850:


£1 in 1849 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as £0.94 in 1850.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1849 and 1850, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1850 - CPI in 1849CPI in 1849
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

8.4 - 8.98.9

News headlines from 1849

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

  • Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky's execution is cancelled at the last moment.
  • Elisabeth Blackwell is the first woman in the United States to earn a medical degree.
  • First photograph of a US president is taken in New York, when Matthew Bady photographed President James Knox Polk

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 1850 | UK Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 19 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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