UK inflation rate in 1981: 11.87%

UK Inflation Calculator

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UK Inflation Rate, 1981-2017 (£1)

The composite price index (CPI) in 1981 was 295. 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 3.63% per year. Prices in 2017 are 261.1% higher than prices in 1981.

In other words, £1 in the year 1981 is equivalent to £3.61 in 2017, a difference of £2.61 over 36 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 1981 to 2017
Cumulative price change 261.13%
Average inflation rate 3.63%
Price difference (£1 base) £2.61
CPI in 1981 295
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 1981

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017 / CPI in 1981 * 1981 GBP value = 2017 GBP value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The UK CPI was 295 in the year 1981 and 1065.34818 in 2017:

1065.34818 / 295 * £1 = £3.61

£1 in 1981 has the same "purchasing power" as £3.61 in 2017.


News headlines from 1981

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

  • Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as the President of the United States.
  • IBM introduces its first PC - Personal Computer.
  • United States Center for Disease Control reports that pneumonia is affecting five homosexual men in Los Angeles, which marks the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.

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.