U.S. inflation rate in 1931: -8.98%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1931-2018 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1931 was 15.2. 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 3.26% per year. Prices in 2018 are 1531.0% higher than prices in 1931.

In other words, $1 in the year 1931 is equivalent in purchasing power to $16.31 in 2018, a difference of $15.31 over 87 years.

The current inflation rate in 2018 is 1.26%1. If this number holds, $1 today will be equivalent to $1.01 next year.

Inflation from 1931 to 2018
Cumulative price change 1531.00%
Average inflation rate 3.26%
Price difference ($1 base) $15.31
CPI in 1931 15.2
CPI in 2018 247.867


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Jewelry · Indoor plants and flowers · Fish and seafood · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $1 since 1931

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1931 * 1931 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 15.2 in the year 1931 and 247.867 in 2018:

247.867 / 15.2 * $1 = $16.31

$1 in 1931 has the same "purchasing power" as $16.31 in 2018.


News headlines from 1931

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

  • The Empire State Building opens in New York.
  • A railway explosion is faked by the Japanese in order to create a pretext for their Manchuria invasion.
  • Proclamation of the Chinese People's Republic by Mao Zedong.

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 1931 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 23 Feb. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/inflation-rate-in-1931.


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