U.S. inflation rate in 1849: -2.53%

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Inflation in 1849 and Its Effect on Dollar Value

Purchasing power increased by 2.53% in 1849 compared to the previous year, 1848. On average, you would have to spend 2.53% less money in 1849 than in 1848 for the same item. This is an example of deflation.

In other words, $100 in 1848 is equivalent in purchasing power to $97.47 in 1849.

The 1848 inflation rate was -3.66%. The inflation rate in 1849 was -2.53%. The 1849 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.09% per year between 1849 and 2018.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1849 was 7.7. It was 7.9 in the previous year, 1848. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation. Because the 1849 CPI is less than 1848 CPI, negative inflation (also known as deflation) has occurred.


Inflation from 1848 to 1849
Average inflation rate -2.53%
Converted amount ($100 base) $97.47
Price difference ($100 base) $-2.53
CPI in 1848 7.9
CPI in 1849 7.7
Inflation in 1848 -3.66%
Inflation in 1849 -2.53%


U.S. inflation chart since 1665


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £100.00 in 1848 would be equivalent to £93.68 in 1849, an absolute change of £-6.32 and a cumulative change of -6.32%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $-2.53 and total percent change of -2.53%.


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 1848 and 1849.

Compare these values to the overall average of -2.53% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $100 in 1848 → 1849
Food 0.00 0.00 100.00
Shelter 0.00 0.00 100.00
Energy 0.00 0.00 100.00
Apparel 0.00 0.00 100.00
New vehicles 0.00 0.00 100.00
Used cars and trucks 0.00 0.00 100.00
Transportation services 0.00 0.00 100.00
Medical care services 0.00 0.00 100.00
Medical care commodities 0.00 0.00 100.00

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1848. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $100, 1848 to 1849

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1849CPI in 1848
×
1848 USD value
=
1849 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 7.9 in the year 1848 and 7.7 in 1849:

7.77.9
×
$100
=
$97.47

$100 in 1848 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $97.47 in 1849.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1848 and 1849, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1849 - CPI in 1848CPI in 1848
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

7.7 - 7.97.9
×
100
=
-3%

News headlines from 1848

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

  • The Mexican-American war ends after signing Treaty of Guadalupe. Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico went to the United States
  • June Days Uprising begins in Paris.
  • Seneca Falls hosts the first US Women's Rights Convention; it is arranged by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady
  • Nationalist revolt against British rule in Ireland is put down by police. Event is known as the Tipperary Revolt

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 1849 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 18 Oct. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1849.

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


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