U.S. inflation rate in 1901: 1.19%

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Inflation in 1901 and Its Effect on Dollar Value

Purchasing power decreased by 1.19% in 1901 compared to the previous year, 1900. On average, you would have to spend 1.19% more money in 1901 than in 1900 for the same item.

In other words, $1 in 1900 is equivalent in purchasing power to $1.01 in 1901.

The 1900 inflation rate was 1.20%. The inflation rate in 1901 was 1.19%. The 1901 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.94% per year between 1901 and 2018.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1901 was 8.5. It was 8.4 in the previous year, 1900. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.


Inflation from 1900 to 1901
Average inflation rate 1.19%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.01
Price difference ($1 base) $0.01
CPI in 1900 8.400
CPI in 1901 8.500
Inflation in 1900 1.20%
Inflation in 1901 1.19%


U.S. inflation chart since 1665


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1900 would be equivalent to £1.00 in 1901, an absolute change of £0.00 and a cumulative change of 0.00%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $0.01 and total percent change of 1.19%.


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 1900 and 1901.

Compare these values to the overall average of 1.19% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1 in 1900 → 1901
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 1900. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1, 1900 to 1901

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1901CPI in 1900
×
1900 USD value
=
1901 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 8.4 in the year 1900 and 8.5 in 1901:

8.58.4
×
$1
=
$1.01

$1 in 1900 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1.01 in 1901.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1900 and 1901, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1901 - CPI in 1900CPI in 1900
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

8.5 - 8.48.4
×
100
=
1%

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 1900, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $1.44 in 1901. This is a return on investment of 44.30%, with an absolute return of $0.44.

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 1.18% of returns ($0.01) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $1 investment is $0.44.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1900-1901
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $1 $1.44 44.30%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$1 $0.44 43.78%


News headlines from 1900

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

  • Britain establishes the protectorates of Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria.
  • America announces the Open Door Policy to promote trade with China.
  • The US Congress passes the Currency Act, establishing the gold standard.
  • Dutch botanist and geneticist Hugo de Vries rediscovers Mendel's law of genetics
  • Under pressure from Japan, Korea denies Russia access to Masampo Port, leading to a war between Russia and Japan.

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 1901 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 9 Dec. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1901.

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


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