$1 in 1945 is worth $1.34 in 1948

Value of $1 from 1945 to 1948

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 1948 are 33.89% higher than average prices since 1945. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 10.22% per year during this period, causing the real value of a dollar to decrease.

In other words, $1 in 1945 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.34 in 1948, a difference of $0.34 over 3 years.

The 1945 inflation rate was 2.27%. The inflation rate in 1948 was 8.07%. The 1948 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 3.34% per year between 1948 and 2020.


Inflation from 1945 to 1948
Cumulative price change 33.89%
Average inflation rate 10.22%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.34
Price difference ($1 base) $0.34
CPI in 1945 18.000
CPI in 1948 24.100
Inflation in 1945 2.27%
Inflation in 1948 8.07%

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

Buying power of $1 in 1945

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $1 in 1945 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $1, you would need to end with $1.34 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $1 is equivalent to $1.34 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 1945 dollars, the chart below shows how $1 is worth less over 3 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:

Dollar inflation: 1945-1948
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1945 $1.00 2.27%
1946 $1.08 8.33%
1947 $1.24 14.36%
1948 $1.34 8.07%
1949 $1.32 -1.24%
1950 $1.34 1.26%
1951 $1.44 7.88%
1952 $1.47 1.92%
1953 $1.48 0.75%
1954 $1.49 0.75%
1955 $1.49 -0.37%
1956 $1.51 1.49%
1957 $1.56 3.31%
1958 $1.61 2.85%
1959 $1.62 0.69%
1960 $1.64 1.72%
1961 $1.66 1.01%
1962 $1.68 1.00%
1963 $1.70 1.32%
1964 $1.72 1.31%
1965 $1.75 1.61%
1966 $1.80 2.86%
1967 $1.86 3.09%
1968 $1.93 4.19%
1969 $2.04 5.46%
1970 $2.16 5.72%
1971 $2.25 4.38%
1972 $2.32 3.21%
1973 $2.47 6.22%
1974 $2.74 11.04%
1975 $2.99 9.13%
1976 $3.16 5.76%
1977 $3.37 6.50%
1978 $3.62 7.59%
1979 $4.03 11.35%
1980 $4.58 13.50%
1981 $5.05 10.32%
1982 $5.36 6.16%
1983 $5.53 3.21%
1984 $5.77 4.32%
1985 $5.98 3.56%
1986 $6.09 1.86%
1987 $6.31 3.65%
1988 $6.57 4.14%
1989 $6.89 4.82%
1990 $7.26 5.40%
1991 $7.57 4.21%
1992 $7.79 3.01%
1993 $8.03 2.99%
1994 $8.23 2.56%
1995 $8.47 2.83%
1996 $8.72 2.95%
1997 $8.92 2.29%
1998 $9.06 1.56%
1999 $9.26 2.21%
2000 $9.57 3.36%
2001 $9.84 2.85%
2002 $9.99 1.58%
2003 $10.22 2.28%
2004 $10.49 2.66%
2005 $10.85 3.39%
2006 $11.20 3.23%
2007 $11.52 2.85%
2008 $11.96 3.84%
2009 $11.92 -0.36%
2010 $12.11 1.64%
2011 $12.50 3.16%
2012 $12.76 2.07%
2013 $12.94 1.46%
2014 $13.15 1.62%
2015 $13.17 0.12%
2016 $13.33 1.26%
2017 $13.62 2.13%
2018 $13.96 2.49%
2019 $14.20 1.76%
2020 $14.24 0.29%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.

This conversion table shows various other 1945 amounts in 1948 dollars, based on the 33.89% change in prices:

Conversion Table: Value of a dollar in 1948
Initial value Equivalent value
$1 dollar in 1945 $1.34 dollars in 1948
$5 dollars in 1945 $6.69 dollars in 1948
$10 dollars in 1945 $13.39 dollars in 1948
$50 dollars in 1945 $66.94 dollars in 1948
$100 dollars in 1945 $133.89 dollars in 1948
$500 dollars in 1945 $669.44 dollars in 1948
$1,000 dollars in 1945 $1,338.89 dollars in 1948
$5,000 dollars in 1945 $6,694.44 dollars in 1948
$10,000 dollars in 1945 $13,388.89 dollars in 1948
$50,000 dollars in 1945 $66,944.44 dollars in 1948
$100,000 dollars in 1945 $133,888.89 dollars in 1948
$500,000 dollars in 1945 $669,444.44 dollars in 1948
$1,000,000 dollars in 1945 $1,338,888.89 dollars in 1948

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1945 to 1948 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $1):

Chicago, Illinois experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 3 years between 1945 and 1948 (11.21%).

San Francisco, California experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 3 years between 1945 and 1948 (9.30%).

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 1945 would be equivalent to £1.19 in 1948, an absolute change of £0.19 and a cumulative change of 18.70%.

In Canada, CA$1.00 in 1945 would be equivalent to CA$1.32 in 1948, an absolute change of CA$0.32 and a cumulative change of 31.52%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $0.34 and total percent change of 33.89%.


Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. Breaking down these categories helps explain the main drivers behind price changes. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1945 and 1948.

Compare these values to the overall average of 10.22% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1 in 1945 → 1948
Food and beverages 0.00 0.00 1.00
Housing 0.00 0.00 1.00
Apparel 10.69 35.61 1.36
Transportation 8.98 29.41 1.29
Medical care 6.28 20.04 1.20
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 1945. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1, 1945 to 1948

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1945 and 1948:

CPI in 1948 CPI in 1945
×
1945 USD value
=
1948 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 18 in the year 1945 and 24.1 in 1948:

24.118
×
$1
=
$1.34

$1 in 1945 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1.34 in 1948.

To get the total inflation rate for the 3 years between 1945 and 1948, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1948 - CPI in 1945CPI in 1945
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (3 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

24.1 - 1818
×
100
=
34%

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 10.22% has a compounding effect between 1945 and 1948. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 33.89% over 3 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $1 in the S&P 500 index in 1945, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $1.38 in 1948. This is a return on investment of 37.64%, with an absolute return of $0.38 on top of the original $1.

These numbers are not inflation adjusted, so they are considered nominal. In order to evaluate the real return on our investment, we must calculate the return with inflation taken into account.

The compounding effect of inflation would account for 25.31% of returns ($0.35) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $1 investment is $0.03. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $0 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1945-1948
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $1 $1.38 37.64%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$1 $1.03 2.80%

Information displayed above may differ slightly from other S&P 500 calculators. Minor discrepancies can occur because we use the latest CPI data for inflation, annualized inflation numbers for previous years, and we compute S&P price and dividends from January of 1945 to latest available data for 1948 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 1945 and 1948, see the stock market returns calculator.


News headlines from 1945

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

  • The USSR captures Budapest from Germany in a battle that kills 159,000 people.
  • The US Fleet captures Iwo Jima.
  • 1,500 US Navy ships bomb Okinawa: the operation is believed to be the largest of World War II
  • Iwo Jima is occupied by America, costing 6,000 American lives and a further 18,000 Japanese lives.
  • Buchenwald, the first Nazi concentration camp, is liberated.

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 1945 → 1948 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 8 Jul. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/1945-dollars-in-1948?amount=1.

Special thanks to QuickChart for their chart image API, which is used for chart downloads.

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


Ian Webster

About the author

Ian Webster is an engineer and data expert based in San Mateo, California. He has worked for Google, NASA, and consulted for governments around the world on data pipelines and data analysis. Disappointed by the lack of clear resources on the impacts of inflation on economic indicators, Ian believes this website serves as a valuable public tool. Ian earned his degree in Computer Science from Dartmouth College.

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» Read more about inflation and investment.

Inflation from 1945 to 1948
Cumulative price change 33.89%
Average inflation rate 10.22%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.34
Price difference ($1 base) $0.34
CPI in 1945 18.000
CPI in 1948 24.100
Inflation in 1945 2.27%
Inflation in 1948 8.07%