U.S. inflation rate in 1979: 11.35%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1979-2017 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1979 was 72.6. 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 3.25% per year. Prices in 2017 are 237.0% higher than prices in 1979.

In other words, $1 in the year 1979 is equivalent to $3.37 in 2017, a difference of $2.37 over 38 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 1979 to 2017
Cumulative price change 237.00%
Average inflation rate 3.25%
Price difference ($1 base) $2.37
CPI in 1979 72.6
CPI in 2017 244.786


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Wireless telephone services · Bananas · Indoor plants and flowers · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $1 since 1979

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017 / CPI in 1979 * 1979 USD value = 2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 72.6 in the year 1979 and 244.786 in 2017:

244.786 / 72.6 * $1 = $3.37

$1 in 1979 has the same "purchasing power" as $3.37 in 2017.


News headlines from 1979

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

  • Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran after fifteen years of exile.
  • Ugandan dictator Idi Amin flees to Libya after the Tanzanian army captures Kampala, Uganda's capital.
  • Margaret Thatcher becomes Prime Minister of United Kingdom, the first ever woman to hold the position.
  • Afghanistan is invaded by the Soviets and overthrowing of President Hafizullah Amin.

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 1979 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Education, 12 Dec. 2017, http://www.in2013dollars.com/inflation-rate-in-1979.


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