U.S. inflation rate in 1920: 15.61%

Inflation Calculator


U.S. Inflation Rate, 1920-2018 ($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 consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.61% per year. Prices in 2018 are 1145.0% higher than prices in 1920.

In other words, $1 in the year 1920 is equivalent in purchasing power to $12.45 in 2018, a difference of $11.45 over 98 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 1920 to 2018
Cumulative price change 1145.00%
Average inflation rate 2.61%
Price difference ($1 base) $11.45
CPI in 1920 20
CPI in 2018 248.991

U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017

Inflation rates for specific categories

Televisions · Fish and seafood · Rent of primary residence · 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 2018 / CPI in 1920 * 1920 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 20 in the year 1920 and 248.991 in 2018:

248.991 / 20 * $1 = $12.45

$1 in 1920 has the same "purchasing power" as $12.45 in 2018.

News headlines from 1920

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

  • 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

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 1920 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 17 Apr. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/inflation-rate-in-1920.

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