U.S. inflation rate in 1917: 17.43%

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Inflation in 1917 and Its Effect on Dollar Value

Purchasing power decreased by 17.43% in 1917 compared to the previous year, 1916. On average, you would have to spend 17.43% more money in 1917 than in 1916 for the same item.

In other words, $100 in 1916 is equivalent in purchasing power to $117.43 in 1917.

The 1916 inflation rate was 7.92%. The inflation rate in 1917 was 17.43%. The 1917 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 3.00% per year between 1917 and 2018.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1917 was 12.8. It was 10.9 in the previous year, 1916. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.


Inflation from 1916 to 1917
Average inflation rate 17.43%
Converted amount ($100 base) $117.43
Price difference ($100 base) $17.43
CPI in 1916 10.9
CPI in 1917 12.8
Inflation in 1916 7.92%
Inflation in 1917 17.43%


U.S. Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1916 to 1917 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $100):

Detroit, Michigan experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1916 and 1917 (16.45%).

Seattle, Washington experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1916 and 1917 (7.92%).


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £100.00 in 1916 would be equivalent to £125.38 in 1917, an absolute change of £25.38 and a cumulative change of 25.38%.

In Canada, CA$100.00 in 1916 would be equivalent to CA$115.28 in 1917, an absolute change of CA$15.28 and a cumulative change of 15.28%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $17.43 and total percent change of 17.43%.


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 1916 and 1917.

Compare these values to the overall average of 17.43% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $100 in 1916 → 1917
Food 28.65 28.65 128.65
Shelter 0.00 0.00 100.00
Energy 0.00 0.00 100.00
Apparel 22.19 22.19 122.19
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 1916. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $100, 1916 to 1917

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1917CPI in 1916
×
1916 USD value
=
1917 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 10.9 in the year 1916 and 12.8 in 1917:

12.810.9
×
$100
=
$117.43

$100 in 1916 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $117.43 in 1917.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1916 and 1917, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1917 - CPI in 1916CPI in 1916
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

12.8 - 10.910.9
×
100
=
17%

News headlines from 1916

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

  • Ottoman forces successfully defend access to Constantinople, leading to ANZAC forces withdrawal from the Gallipoli Peninsula.
  • An estimated 1 million men are killed during the Battle of Verdun.
  • The Easter Rising ends after Irish republicans abandon the post office in Dublin and surrenders.
  • Tanks known as 'Little Willies' are used for the first time at the Battle of the Somme.
  • The first aerial combat in France is won by Manfred von Richthofen, known as The Red Baron, German Luftstreitkrafte flying ace.

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 1917 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 21 Sep. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1917.

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


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