U.S. inflation rate in 1801: 0.79%

Inflation Calculator


Inflation in 1801 and Its Effect on Dollar Value

Purchasing power decreased by 0.79% in 1801 compared to 1800. On average, you would have to spend 0.79% more money in 1801 than in 1800 for the same item.

In other words, $1 in 1800 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.01 in 1801.

The 1800 inflation rate was 2.44%. The inflation rate in 1801 was 0.79%. The 1801 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 1.39% per year between 1801 and 2020.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1801 was 12.70. It was 12.60 in the previous year, 1800. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.

Inflation from 1800 to 1801
Average inflation rate 0.79%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.01
Price difference ($1 base) $0.01
CPI in 1800 12.600
CPI in 1801 12.700
Inflation in 1800 2.44%
Inflation in 1801 0.79%

USD Inflation since 1635
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1800 would be equivalent to £1.12 in 1801, an absolute change of £0.12 and a cumulative change of 11.85%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $0.01 and total percent change of 0.79%.

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 1800 and 1801.

Compare these values to the overall average of 0.79% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1 in 1800 → 1801
Food and beverages 0.00 0.00 1.00
Housing 0.00 0.00 1.00
Apparel 0.00 0.00 1.00
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

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 1800. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1, 1800 to 1801

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1801CPI in 1800
1800 USD value
1801 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 12.6 in the year 1800 and 12.7 in 1801:


$1 in 1800 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1.01 in 1801.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1800 and 1801, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1801 - CPI in 1800CPI in 1800
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

12.7 - 12.612.6

News headlines from 1800

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

  • First session of Congress held at under-construction Capitol building in Washington D.C.
  • First cowpox vaccination (for smallpox prevention) in the United States. The vaccine was given by Dr Benjamin Waterhouse to his son.
  • The free African American community of Philadelphia submits its first petition to US Congress for the abolition of slavery.
  • Barnaba Niccoclo Maria Luigi Chiaramonti elected pope, taking the name Pope Pius VII.
  • A Smallpox vaccine is invented by Doctor Benjamin Waterhouse leading to the first immunization against the disease.
  • Congress holds its first session in the, at the time, still incomplete Capitol building in Washington D.C.
  • The French army defeats the Turks at Helipolis, after which they advanced on to Cairo.

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: “Inflation Rate in 1801 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 7 Apr. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1801.

Special thanks to QuickChart for providing downloadable chart images.

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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Inflation from 1800 to 1801
Average inflation rate 0.79%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.01
Price difference ($1 base) $0.01
CPI in 1800 12.600
CPI in 1801 12.700
Inflation in 1800 2.44%
Inflation in 1801 0.79%