U.S. inflation rate in 1971: 4.38%

Inflation Calculator

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1971-2018 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1971 was 40.5. 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 3.92% per year. Prices in 2018 are 509.0% higher than prices in 1971.

In other words, $1 in the year 1971 is equivalent in purchasing power to $6.09 in 2018, a difference of $5.09 over 47 years.

The current inflation rate in 2018 is 0.77%1. If this number holds, $1 today will be equivalent to $1.01 next year.

Inflation from 1971 to 2018
Cumulative price change 509.00%
Average inflation rate 3.92%
Price difference ($1 base) $5.09
CPI in 1971 40.5
CPI in 2018 246.669


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Electricity · Admission to sporting events · Film and photographic supplies · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $1 since 1971

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1971 * 1971 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 40.5 in the year 1971 and 246.669 in 2018:

246.669 / 40.5 * $1 = $6.09

$1 in 1971 has the same "purchasing power" as $6.09 in 2018.


News headlines from 1971

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

  • Idi Amin declares himself president of Uganda.
  • The Nasdaq Composite stock market index debuts with fifty companies and a starting value of 100.
  • Indian troops, aided by Bengali guerrillas under Mukti Bahini, are victorious over the Pakistan army, in the battle of Garibpur.

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 1971 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 18 Jan. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/inflation-rate-in-1971.


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