UK inflation rate in 1981: 11.87%

UK Inflation Calculator


Inflation in 1981 and Its Effect on Pound Value

Purchasing power decreased by 11.87% in 1981 compared to 1980. On average, you would have to spend 11.87% more money in 1981 than in 1980 for the same item.

In other words, £1 in 1980 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £1.12 in 1981.

The 1980 inflation rate was 17.99%. The inflation rate in 1981 was 11.87%. The 1981 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 3.58% per year between 1981 and 2019.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the composite price index (CPI). The CPI in 1981 was 295.00. It was 263.70 in the previous year, 1980. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Office for National Statistics to officially determine inflation.

Inflation from 1980 to 1981
Average inflation rate 11.87%
Converted amount (£1 base) £1.12
Price difference (£1 base) £0.12
CPI in 1980 263.700
CPI in 1981 295.000
Inflation in 1980 17.99%
Inflation in 1981 11.87%

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

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for £1, 1980 to 1981

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1981CPI in 1980
1980 GBP value
1981 GBP value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The UK CPI was 263.7 in the year 1980 and 295 in 1981:


£1 in 1980 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as £1.12 in 1981.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1980 and 1981, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1981 - CPI in 1980CPI in 1980
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

295 - 263.7263.7

News headlines from 1980

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

  • Princess Victoria is crowned Princess of Sweden.
  • Iranian protesters storm the Russian embassy in Iran.
  • Abdou Diouf is elected president of Senegal after being Prime Minister for ten years.
  • Cable News Network (CNN) is transmitted for the first time.
  • Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq, declares a holy war on Iran.

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 1981 | 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.

» Read more about inflation and investment.