U.S. inflation rate in 1953: 0.75%

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Inflation since 1953 and its effect on dollar value

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1953 was 26.7. It was 26.5 in the previous year. This change in CPI is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate inflation.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.51% per year. Prices in 2018 are 843.78% higher than prices in 1953.

In other words, $100 in 1953 is equivalent in purchasing power to $943.78 in 2018, a difference of $843.78 over 65 years.

The current inflation rate is now 2.87%1. If this number holds, $100 today will be equivalent to $102.87 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.

Inflation from 1953 to 2018
Cumulative price change 843.78%
Average inflation rate 3.51%
Converted amount ($100 base) $943.78
Price difference ($100 base) $843.78
CPI in 1953 26.7
CPI in 2018 251.989


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2018


CPI is the weighted combination of many categories. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1953 and 2018.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.51% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) $100 in 1953 → 2018
Food 3.43 894.10
Shelter 4.13 1,387.56
Energy 3.88 1,187.97
Apparel 1.67 293.64
New vehicles 1.05 197.67
Used cars and trucks 0.61 148.87
Transportation services 3.35 848.83
Medical care services 5.61 3,479.12
Medical care commodities 4.29 1,533.12

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1953. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.


Inflation rates for specific categories

Electricity · Women's apparel · 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 $100 since 1953

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1953 * 1953 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 26.7 in the year 1953 and 251.989 in 2018:

251.989 / 26.7 * $100 = $943.78

$100 in 1953 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $943.78 in 2018.


Buying power of $100 since 1953

This chart shows calculations of buying power equivalence over time for $100 in 1953 (price index tracking began in 1913).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, each of these USD amounts below is equal in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year USD Value Inflation Rate
1953 $100.00 0.75%
1954 $100.75 0.75%
1955 $100.37 -0.37%
1956 $101.87 1.49%
1957 $105.24 3.31%
1958 $108.24 2.85%
1959 $108.99 0.69%
1960 $110.86 1.72%
1961 $111.99 1.01%
1962 $113.11 1.00%
1963 $114.61 1.32%
1964 $116.10 1.31%
1965 $117.98 1.61%
1966 $121.35 2.86%
1967 $125.09 3.09%
1968 $130.34 4.19%
1969 $137.45 5.46%
1970 $145.32 5.72%
1971 $151.69 4.38%
1972 $156.55 3.21%
1973 $166.29 6.22%
1974 $184.64 11.04%
1975 $201.50 9.13%
1976 $213.11 5.76%
1977 $226.97 6.50%
1978 $244.19 7.59%
1979 $271.91 11.35%
1980 $308.61 13.50%
1981 $340.45 10.32%
1982 $361.42 6.16%
1983 $373.03 3.21%
1984 $389.14 4.32%
1985 $403.00 3.56%
1986 $410.49 1.86%
1987 $425.47 3.65%
1988 $443.07 4.14%
1989 $464.42 4.82%
1990 $489.51 5.40%
1991 $510.11 4.21%
1992 $525.47 3.01%
1993 $541.20 2.99%
1994 $555.06 2.56%
1995 $570.79 2.83%
1996 $587.64 2.95%
1997 $601.12 2.29%
1998 $610.49 1.56%
1999 $623.97 2.21%
2000 $644.94 3.36%
2001 $663.30 2.85%
2002 $673.78 1.58%
2003 $689.14 2.28%
2004 $707.49 2.66%
2005 $731.46 3.39%
2006 $755.06 3.23%
2007 $776.56 2.85%
2008 $806.38 3.84%
2009 $803.51 -0.36%
2010 $816.69 1.64%
2011 $842.47 3.16%
2012 $859.90 2.07%
2013 $872.50 1.46%
2014 $886.65 1.62%
2015 $887.70 0.12%
2016 $898.90 1.26%
2017 $916.80 1.99%
2018 $943.78 2.94%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

News headlines from 1953

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

  • Harry Truman announces that America had developed a hydrogen bomb.
  • Francis Crick and James Watson announce the discovery of the DNA molecule.
  • Doctor Jonas Salk announces the creation of a polio vaccine.

Inflation can vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £100.00 in 1953 would be equivalent to £2,711.78 in 2018, an absolute change of £2,611.78 and a cumulative change of 2,711.78%.

In Canada, CA$100.00 in 1953 would be equivalent to CA$945.39 in 2018, an absolute change of CA$845.39 and a cumulative change of 945.39%.

Compare these numbers to the US's absolute change of $843.78 and percent change of 843.78%.


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 1953 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 14 Jul. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1953.

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


» Read more about inflation.