U.S. inflation rate in 1942: 10.88%

Inflation Calculator

$

Inflation in 1942 and Its Effect on Dollar Value

Purchasing power decreased by 10.88% in 1942 compared to the previous year, 1941. On average, you would have to spend 10.88% more money in 1942 than in 1941 for the same item.

In other words, $100 in 1941 is equivalent in purchasing power to $110.88 in 1942.

The 1941 inflation rate was 5.00%. The inflation rate in 1942 was 10.88%. The 1942 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 3.67% per year between 1942 and 2018.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1942 was 16.3. It was 14.7 in the previous year, 1941. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.


Inflation from 1941 to 1942
Average inflation rate 10.88%
Converted amount ($100 base) $110.88
Price difference ($100 base) $10.88
CPI in 1941 14.7
CPI in 1942 16.3
Inflation in 1941 5.00%
Inflation in 1942 10.88%


U.S. Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1941 to 1942 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $100):

Seattle, Washington experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1941 and 1942 (12.43%).

New York experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1941 and 1942 (9.62%).


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £100.00 in 1941 would be equivalent to £107.14 in 1942, an absolute change of £7.14 and a cumulative change of 7.14%.

In Canada, CA$100.00 in 1941 would be equivalent to CA$103.45 in 1942, an absolute change of CA$3.45 and a cumulative change of 3.45%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $10.88 and total percent change of 10.88%.


Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1941 and 1942.

Compare these values to the overall average of 10.88% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $100 in 1941 → 1942
Food 17.65 17.65 117.65
Shelter 0.00 0.00 100.00
Energy 0.00 0.00 100.00
Apparel 17.03 17.03 117.03
New vehicles 0.00 0.00 100.00
Used cars and trucks 0.00 0.00 100.00
Transportation services 0.00 0.00 100.00
Medical care services 2.82 2.82 102.82
Medical care commodities 0.00 0.00 100.00

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1941. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $100, 1941 to 1942

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1942CPI in 1941
×
1941 USD value
=
1942 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 14.7 in the year 1941 and 16.3 in 1942:

16.314.7
×
$100
=
$110.88

$100 in 1941 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $110.88 in 1942.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1941 and 1942, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1942 - CPI in 1941CPI in 1941
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

16.3 - 14.714.7
×
100
=
11%

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

To help put this inflation into perspective, if you had invested $100 in the S&P 500 index in 1941, your investment would be worth approximately $110.67 in 1942. This is a change of 10.67%.

This means the nominal return on a $100 investment is $10.67, but inflation would eat into your real returns.

Inflation would account for 9.82% of your returns ($1.05), for an inflation-adjusted real return of about $9.62.


News headlines from 1941

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

  • 6,000 Jews are exterminated in the Bucharest pogrom in Romania.
  • Kuomintang troops open fire at communist forces, leading to the resumption of the Chinese civil war.
  • The British battle cruiser the HMS Hood is sunk by the German Battleship Bismarck, leading to 1,416 dead and only 3 survivors.
  • Germany, Italy, and Romania declare war on the Soviet Union.

Data Source & Citation

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 1942 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 19 Oct. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1942.

in2013dollars.com is a reference website maintained by the Official Data Foundation.


» Read more about inflation.