U.S. inflation rate in 1917: 17.43%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1917-2017 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1917 was 12.8. the Bureau of Labor Statistics uses this CPI value to track inflation on a monthly basis.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.99% per year. Prices in 2017 are 1812.0% higher than prices in 1917.

In other words, $1 in the year 1917 is equivalent to $19.12 in 2017, a difference of $18.12 over 100 years.

The current inflation rate in 2017 is 1.99%1. If this number holds, $1 today will be equivalent to $1.02 next year.

Inflation from 1917 to 2017
Cumulative price change 1812.00%
Average inflation rate 2.99%
Price difference ($1 base) $18.12
CPI in 1917 12.8
CPI in 2017 244.786


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Wireless telephone services · Milk · Jewelry · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

S&P 500 price · S&P 500 earnings · Shiller P/E

How to calculate the inflation rate for $1 since 1917

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017 / CPI in 1917 * 1917 USD value = 2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 12.8 in the year 1917 and 244.786 in 2017:

244.786 / 12.8 * $1 = $19.12

$1 in 1917 has the same "purchasing power" as $19.12 in 2017.


News headlines from 1917

Politics and news often play an important role in economic performance.

  • The Russian "February Revolution" begins, alongside protests celebrating Women's Day and St Petersburg riots.
  • Tsar Nicholas II abdicates nominating his brother, Grand Duke Michael to succeed him.
  • President Wilson asks US Congress to declare war against Germany.
  • Vladimir Lenin issues the "April Theses" appealing for Soviets to take power during Russian Revolution.
  • Leon Trotsky becomes chairman of the Petrograd Soviet after the Bolsheviks gain control.

Inflation Data Source: 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.


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