U.S. inflation rate in 1918: 17.97%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1918-2017 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1918 was 15.1. 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 2.85% per year. Prices in 2017 are 1521.0% higher than prices in 1918.

In other words, $1 in the year 1918 is equivalent to $16.21 in 2017, a difference of $15.21 over 99 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 1918 to 2017
Cumulative price change 1521.00%
Average inflation rate 2.85%
Price difference ($1 base) $15.21
CPI in 1918 15.1
CPI in 2017 244.786


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Housing · Medical care · 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 1918

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017 / CPI in 1918 * 1918 USD value = 2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 15.1 in the year 1918 and 244.786 in 2017:

244.786 / 15.1 * $1 = $16.21

The "purchasing power" of $1 from 1918 is $16.21 in 2017.


News headlines from 1918

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

  • First recorded case of Spanish flu in Kansas, marking the beginning of a worldwide pandemic killing millions.
  • The Bolshevik Party changes its name to the Communist Party.
  • Moscow is declared the capital of Russia.
  • Tsar Nicholas II of Russia is executed along with his family by a Bolshevik squad in Ekaterinburg.

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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