UK inflation rate in 1885: -3.30%

UK Inflation Calculator

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UK Inflation Rate, 1885-2017 (£1)

The composite price index (CPI) in 1885 was 8.8. the Office for National Statistics uses this CPI value to track inflation on a monthly basis.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the pound experienced an average inflation rate of 3.70% per year. Prices in 2017 are 12006.2% higher than prices in 1885.

In other words, £1 in the year 1885 is equivalent to £121.06 in 2017, a difference of £120.06 over 132 years.

The current inflation rate in 2017 is 2.70%1. If this number holds, £1 today will be equivalent to £1.03 next year.

Inflation from 1885 to 2017
Cumulative price change 12006.23%
Average inflation rate 3.70%
Price difference (£1 base) £120.06
CPI in 1885 8.8
CPI in 2017 1065.34818


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


How to calculate the inflation rate for £1 since 1885

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017 / CPI in 1885 * 1885 GBP value = 2017 GBP value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The UK CPI was 8.8 in the year 1885 and 1065.34818 in 2017:

1065.34818 / 8.8 * £1 = £121.06

The "purchasing power" of £1 from 1885 is £121.06 in 2017.


News headlines from 1885

Politics and news often play an important role in economic performance.

  • King Leopold II of Belgium makes Congo his own personal, colonial possession.
  • Congo is given to Belgium whilst Nigeria is awarded to Great Britain during the Berlin Conference
  • Bismarck, German chancellor, conquers Cameron and Togoland
  • Louis Pasteur conducts the first successful test of an anti-rabies vaccine
  • Gottlieb Daimler invents the first motorcycle.

Inflation Data Source: This calculator uses 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.


» Read more about inflation.