\$1 in 1920 → \$0.76 in 1918

Inflation Calculator

\$

U.S. Inflation Rate, \$1 from 1920 to 1918

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 1918 are 24.5% lower than average prices since 1920. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 15.09% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, \$1 in 1920 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$0.76 in 1918, a difference of \$-0.24 over 2 years.

The 1918 inflation rate was 17.97%. The inflation rate in 1920 was 15.61%. The 1920 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 2.59% per year between 1920 and 2020.

 Cumulative price change -24.50% Average inflation rate 15.09% Converted amount (\$1 base) \$0.76 Price difference (\$1 base) \$-0.24 CPI in 1920 20.000 CPI in 1918 15.100 Inflation in 1918 17.97% Inflation in 1920 15.61%

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

Buying power of \$1 in 1918

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$1 in 1918 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$1, you would need to end with \$0.76 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When \$1 is equivalent to \$0.76 over time, that means that the "real value" of a single U.S. dollar decreases over time. In other words, a dollar will pay for fewer items at the store.

This effect explains how inflation erodes the value of a dollar over time. By calculating the value in 1918 dollars, the chart below shows how \$1 buys less over the past 2 years.

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 Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1918 \$1.00 17.97%
1919 \$1.15 14.57%
1920 \$1.32 15.61%
1921 \$1.19 -10.50%
1922 \$1.11 -6.15%
1923 \$1.13 1.79%
1924 \$1.13 0.00%
1925 \$1.16 2.34%
1926 \$1.17 1.14%
1927 \$1.15 -1.69%
1928 \$1.13 -1.72%
1929 \$1.13 0.00%
1930 \$1.11 -2.34%
1931 \$1.01 -8.98%
1932 \$0.91 -9.87%
1933 \$0.86 -5.11%
1934 \$0.89 3.08%
1935 \$0.91 2.24%
1936 \$0.92 1.46%
1937 \$0.95 3.60%
1938 \$0.93 -2.08%
1939 \$0.92 -1.42%
1940 \$0.93 0.72%
1941 \$0.97 5.00%
1942 \$1.08 10.88%
1943 \$1.15 6.13%
1944 \$1.17 1.73%
1945 \$1.19 2.27%
1946 \$1.29 8.33%
1947 \$1.48 14.36%
1948 \$1.60 8.07%
1949 \$1.58 -1.24%
1950 \$1.60 1.26%
1951 \$1.72 7.88%
1952 \$1.75 1.92%
1953 \$1.77 0.75%
1954 \$1.78 0.75%
1955 \$1.77 -0.37%
1956 \$1.80 1.49%
1957 \$1.86 3.31%
1958 \$1.91 2.85%
1959 \$1.93 0.69%
1960 \$1.96 1.72%
1961 \$1.98 1.01%
1962 \$2.00 1.00%
1963 \$2.03 1.32%
1964 \$2.05 1.31%
1965 \$2.09 1.61%
1966 \$2.15 2.86%
1967 \$2.21 3.09%
1968 \$2.30 4.19%
1969 \$2.43 5.46%
1970 \$2.57 5.72%
1971 \$2.68 4.38%
1972 \$2.77 3.21%
1973 \$2.94 6.22%
1974 \$3.26 11.04%
1975 \$3.56 9.13%
1976 \$3.77 5.76%
1977 \$4.01 6.50%
1978 \$4.32 7.59%
1979 \$4.81 11.35%
1980 \$5.46 13.50%
1981 \$6.02 10.32%
1982 \$6.39 6.16%
1983 \$6.60 3.21%
1984 \$6.88 4.32%
1985 \$7.13 3.56%
1986 \$7.26 1.86%
1987 \$7.52 3.65%
1988 \$7.83 4.14%
1989 \$8.21 4.82%
1990 \$8.66 5.40%
1991 \$9.02 4.21%
1992 \$9.29 3.01%
1993 \$9.57 2.99%
1994 \$9.81 2.56%
1995 \$10.09 2.83%
1996 \$10.39 2.95%
1997 \$10.63 2.29%
1998 \$10.79 1.56%
1999 \$11.03 2.21%
2000 \$11.40 3.36%
2001 \$11.73 2.85%
2002 \$11.91 1.58%
2003 \$12.19 2.28%
2004 \$12.51 2.66%
2005 \$12.93 3.39%
2006 \$13.35 3.23%
2007 \$13.73 2.85%
2008 \$14.26 3.84%
2009 \$14.21 -0.36%
2010 \$14.44 1.64%
2011 \$14.90 3.16%
2012 \$15.20 2.07%
2013 \$15.43 1.46%
2014 \$15.68 1.62%
2015 \$15.70 0.12%
2016 \$15.89 1.26%
2017 \$16.23 2.13%
2018 \$16.64 2.49%
2019 \$16.93 1.76%
2020 \$17.08 0.90%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1920 to 1918 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of \$1):

Seattle, Washington experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 2 years between 1918 and 1920 (24.90%).

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 2 years between 1918 and 1920 (19.00%).

Note that some locations showing 0% inflation may have not yet reported latest data.

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1920 would be equivalent to £0.79 in 1918, an absolute change of £-0.21 and a cumulative change of -21.34%.

In Canada, CA\$1.00 in 1920 would be equivalent to CA\$0.84 in 1918, an absolute change of CA\$-0.16 and a cumulative change of -16.07%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$-0.24 and total percent change of -24.50%.

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 1920 and 1918.

Compare these values to the overall average of 15.09% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$1 in 1918 → 1920
Food and beverages 0.00 0.00 1.00
Housing 0.00 0.00 1.00
Apparel 20.35 44.84 1.45
Transportation 0.00 0.00 1.00
Medical care 0.00 0.00 1.00
Recreation 0.00 0.00 1.00
Education and communication 0.00 0.00 1.00
Other goods and services 0.00 0.00 1.00

The graph below compares inflation in categories of goods over time. Click on a category such as "Food" to toggle it on or off:

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 1920. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$1, 1918 to 1920

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1918CPI in 1920
×
1920 USD value
=
1918 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 20 in the year 1920 and 15.1 in 1918:

15.120
×
\$1
=
\$0.76

\$1 in 1920 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$0.76 in 1918.

To get the total inflation rate for the 2 years between 1918 and 1920, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1918 - CPI in 1920CPI in 1920
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (2 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

15.1 - 2020
×
100
=
-24%

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

• The League of Nations' first assembly takes place in Paris.
• The British Parliament passes the Fourth Home Rule Act, dividing Ireland into two parts and leading to a yearlong Anglo-Irish war in the southern counties.
• The Catholic Church canonizes Joan of Arc, formally making her a saint.
• The 19th Amendment to the constitution is ratified, granting U.S. woman suffrage for the first time.

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: “\$1 in 1920 → 1918 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 20 Feb. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/1920-dollars-in-1918?amount=1.