U.S. inflation rate in 1972: 3.21%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1972-2018 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1972 was 41.8. 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 3.96% per year. Prices in 2018 are 496.0% higher than prices in 1972.

In other words, $1 in the year 1972 is equivalent in purchasing power to $5.96 in 2018, a difference of $4.96 over 46 years.

The current inflation rate in 2018 is 1.72%1. If this number holds, $1 today will be equivalent to $1.02 next year.

Inflation from 1972 to 2018
Cumulative price change 496.00%
Average inflation rate 3.96%
Price difference ($1 base) $4.96
CPI in 1972 41.8
CPI in 2018 248.991


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Frankfurters · Legal services · 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 1972

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1972 * 1972 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 41.8 in the year 1972 and 248.991 in 2018:

248.991 / 41.8 * $1 = $5.96

$1 in 1972 has the same "purchasing power" as $5.96 in 2018.


News headlines from 1972

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

  • The US's costliest natural disaster, Hurricane Agnes, causes 119 deaths and $3 billion damage.
  • The US Senate,ratifies the first Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
  • A member of the terrorist group Black September kills eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.
  • Pong, the first commercially successful video game is released by the co-founder of Atari.

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 1972 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 23 Apr. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/inflation-rate-in-1972.


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