U.S. inflation rate in 1940: 0.72%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1940-2017 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1940 was 14. 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 3.79% per year. Prices in 2017 are 1648.0% higher than prices in 1940.

In other words, $1 in the year 1940 is equivalent to $17.48 in 2017, a difference of $16.48 over 77 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 1940 to 2017
Cumulative price change 1648.00%
Average inflation rate 3.79%
Price difference ($1 base) $16.48
CPI in 1940 14
CPI in 2017 244.786


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Juices and nonalcoholic drinks · Alcoholic beverages · Airline fares · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $1 since 1940

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017 / CPI in 1940 * 1940 USD value = 2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 14 in the year 1940 and 244.786 in 2017:

244.786 / 14 * $1 = $17.48

$1 in 1940 has the same "purchasing power" as $17.48 in 2017.


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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