U.S. inflation rate in 1840: -6.45%

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Inflation in 1840 and Its Effect on Dollar Value

Purchasing power increased by 6.45% in 1840 compared to the previous year, 1839. On average, you would have to spend 6.45% less money in 1840 than in 1839 for the same item. This is an example of deflation.

In other words, $1 in 1839 is equivalent in purchasing power to $0.94 in 1840.

The 1839 inflation rate was 0.00%. The inflation rate in 1840 was -6.45%. The 1840 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 1.91% per year between 1840 and 2018.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1840 was 8.7. It was 9.3 in the previous year, 1839. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation. Because the 1840 CPI is less than 1839 CPI, negative inflation (also known as deflation) has occurred.


Inflation from 1839 to 1840
Average inflation rate -6.45%
Converted amount ($1 base) $0.94
Price difference ($1 base) $-0.06
CPI in 1839 9.300
CPI in 1840 8.700
Inflation in 1839 0.00%
Inflation in 1840 -6.45%


U.S. inflation chart since 1665


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1839 would be equivalent to £1.02 in 1840, an absolute change of £0.02 and a cumulative change of 1.83%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $-0.06 and total percent change of -6.45%.


Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1839 and 1840.

Compare these values to the overall average of -6.45% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1 in 1839 → 1840
Food 0.00 0.00 1.00
Shelter 0.00 0.00 1.00
Energy 0.00 0.00 1.00
Apparel 0.00 0.00 1.00
New vehicles 0.00 0.00 1.00
Used cars and trucks 0.00 0.00 1.00
Transportation services 0.00 0.00 1.00
Medical care services 0.00 0.00 1.00
Medical care commodities 0.00 0.00 1.00

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1839. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1, 1839 to 1840

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1840CPI in 1839
×
1839 USD value
=
1840 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 9.3 in the year 1839 and 8.7 in 1840:

8.79.3
×
$1
=
$0.94

$1 in 1839 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $0.94 in 1840.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1839 and 1840, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1840 - CPI in 1839CPI in 1839
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

8.7 - 9.39.3
×
100
=
-6%

News headlines from 1839

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

  • Indian tea arrives in the United Kingdom for the first time.
  • The details of the first photographic process are released by Louis Daguerre.
  • Beginning of the first Opium War in China.

Data Source & Citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (CPI), established in 1913. Inflation data from 1665 to 1912 is sourced from a historical study conducted by political science professor Robert Sahr at Oregon State University.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “Inflation Rate in 1840 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 19 Dec. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1840.

in2013dollars.com is a reference website maintained by the Official Data Foundation.


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