U.S. inflation rate in 1920: 15.61%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1920-2017 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1920 was 20. 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 2.62% per year. Prices in 2017 are 1124.0% higher than prices in 1920.

In other words, $1 in the year 1920 is equivalent to $12.24 in 2017, a difference of $11.24 over 97 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 1920 to 2017
Cumulative price change 1124.00%
Average inflation rate 2.62%
Price difference ($1 base) $11.24
CPI in 1920 20
CPI in 2017 244.786


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Medical care · Gasoline (all types) · Legal 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 1920

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017 / CPI in 1920 * 1920 USD value = 2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 20 in the year 1920 and 244.786 in 2017:

244.786 / 20 * $1 = $12.24

$1 in 1920 has the same "purchasing power" as $12.24 in 2017.


News headlines from 1920

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

  • The League of Nations' first assembly takes place in Paris.
  • The British Parliament passes the Fourth Home Rule Act, dividing Ireland into two parts and leading to a yearlong Anglo-Irish war in the southern counties.
  • The Catholic Church canonizes Joan of Arc, formally making her a saint.
  • The 19th Amendment to the constitution is ratified granting U.S. woman suffrage for the first time.

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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