U.S. inflation rate in 1871: -6.87%

Inflation Calculator

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Inflation in 1871 and Its Effect on Dollar Value

Purchasing power increased by 6.87% in 1871 compared to the previous year, 1870. On average, you would have to spend 6.87% less money in 1871 than in 1870 for the same item. This is an example of deflation.

In other words, $100 in 1870 is equivalent in purchasing power to $93.13 in 1871.

The 1870 inflation rate was -3.68%. The inflation rate in 1871 was -6.87%. The 1871 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.08% per year between 1871 and 2018.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1871 was 12.2. It was 13.1 in the previous year, 1870. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation. Because the 1871 CPI is less than 1870 CPI, negative inflation (also known as deflation) has occurred.


Inflation from 1870 to 1871
Average inflation rate -6.87%
Converted amount ($100 base) $93.13
Price difference ($100 base) $-6.87
CPI in 1870 13.1
CPI in 1871 12.2
Inflation in 1870 -3.68%
Inflation in 1871 -6.87%


U.S. inflation chart since 1665


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £100.00 in 1870 would be equivalent to £101.05 in 1871, an absolute change of £1.05 and a cumulative change of 1.05%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $-6.87 and total percent change of -6.87%.


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 1870 and 1871.

Compare these values to the overall average of -6.87% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $100 in 1870 → 1871
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 1870. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $100, 1870 to 1871

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1871CPI in 1870
×
1870 USD value
=
1871 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 13.1 in the year 1870 and 12.2 in 1871:

12.213.1
×
$100
=
$93.13

$100 in 1870 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $93.13 in 1871.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1870 and 1871, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1871 - CPI in 1870CPI in 1870
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

12.2 - 13.113.1
×
100
=
-7%

News headlines from 1870

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

  • New York begins building the Brooklyn Bridge (the bridge is completed in 1883).
  • Austria inaugurates Wiener Musikverein, also known as the Great Hall, in Vienna.
  • The Carson City mint, in Nevada, starts issuing coins.

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 1871 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 17 Oct. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1871.

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


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