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# U.S. inflation rate in 1880: 2.00%

### Inflation in 1880 and Its Effect on Dollar Value

Purchasing power decreased by 2.00% in 1880 compared to 1879. On average, you would have to spend 2.00% more money in 1880 than in 1879 for the same item.

In other words, \$1 in 1879 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$1.02 in 1880.

The 1879 inflation rate was 0.00%. The inflation rate in 1880 was 2.00%. The 1880 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.35% per year between 1880 and 2019.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1880 was 10.20. It was 10.00 in the previous year, 1879. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.

 Average inflation rate 2.00% Converted amount (\$1 base) \$1.02 Price difference (\$1 base) \$0.02 CPI in 1879 10.000 CPI in 1880 10.200 Inflation in 1879 0.00% Inflation in 1880 2.00%

### Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1879 would be equivalent to £1.03 in 1880, an absolute change of £0.03 and a cumulative change of 3.30%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$0.02 and total percent change of 2.00%.

### 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 1879 and 1880.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.00% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$1 in 1879 → 1880
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 1879. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.

### How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$1, 1879 to 1880

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1880CPI in 1879
×
1879 USD value
=
1880 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 10 in the year 1879 and 10.2 in 1880:

10.210
×
\$1
=
\$1.02

\$1 in 1879 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$1.02 in 1880.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1879 and 1880, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1880 - CPI in 1879CPI in 1879
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

10.2 - 1010
×
100
=
2%

### Comparison to S&P 500 Index

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested \$1 in the S&P 500 index in 1879, our investment would be nominally worth approximately \$1.89 in 1880. This is a return on investment of 89.02%, with an absolute return of \$0.89.

These numbers are not inflation adjusted, so they are considered nominal. In order to evaluate the real return on our investment, we must calculate the return with inflation taken into account.

The compounding effect of inflation would account for 1.96% of returns (\$0.02) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our \$1 investment is \$0.87.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1879-1880
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal \$1 \$1.89 89.02%
Real
\$1 \$0.87 87.28%

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

• British garrison of 150 holds off Yulu warriors 3,000 to 4,000 strong in the Battle of Rorke's Drift. Defenders were awarded 11 Victoria Crosses and other decorations
• Peru declares war on Bolivia signalling the start of the Pacific War.
• Thomas Elkins, an African American inventor, patents refrigerating apparatus.

### 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 1880 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 15 Oct. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1880.