U.S. inflation rate in 1917: 17.43%

Inflation Calculator


U.S. Inflation Rate, 1917-2018 ($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 consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.98% per year. Prices in 2018 are 1845.0% higher than prices in 1917.

In other words, $1 in the year 1917 is equivalent in purchasing power to $19.45 in 2018, a difference of $18.45 over 101 years.

The current inflation rate in 2018 is 1.72%1. If this number holds, $1 today will be equivalent to $1.02 next year.

Inflation from 1917 to 2018
Cumulative price change 1845.00%
Average inflation rate 2.98%
Price difference ($1 base) $18.45
CPI in 1917 12.8
CPI in 2018 248.991

U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017

Inflation rates for specific categories

Food · Baby food · Wireless telephone services · 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 2018 / CPI in 1917 * 1917 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 12.8 in the year 1917 and 248.991 in 2018:

248.991 / 12.8 * $1 = $19.45

$1 in 1917 has the same "purchasing power" as $19.45 in 2018.

News headlines from 1917

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

  • 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

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.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 23 Mar. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/inflation-rate-in-1917.

» Read more about inflation.