U.S. inflation rate in 1804: 4.42%

Inflation in 1804 and its effect on dollar value

Purchasing power decreased by 4.42% in 1804 compared to 1803. On average, you would have to spend 4.42% more money in 1804 than in 1803 for the same item.

In other words, $1 in 1803 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.04 in 1804.

The 1803 inflation rate was 5.61%. The inflation rate in 1804 was 4.42%. The 1804 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 1.44% per year between 1804 and 2020.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1804 was 11.80. It was 11.30 in the previous year, 1803. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.

Inflation from 1803 to 1804
Average inflation rate 4.42%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.04
Price difference ($1 base) $0.04
CPI in 1803 11.300
CPI in 1804 11.800
Inflation in 1803 5.61%
Inflation in 1804 4.42%

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 1803 would be equivalent to £1.03 in 1804, an absolute change of £0.03 and a cumulative change of 2.73%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $0.04 and total percent change of 4.42%.

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 1803 and 1804.

Compare these values to the overall average of 4.42% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1 in 1803 → 1804
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 1803. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1, 1803 to 1804

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1803 and 1804:

CPI in 1804 CPI in 1803
1803 USD value
1804 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 11.3 in the year 1803 and 11.8 in 1804:


$1 in 1803 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1.04 in 1804.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1803 and 1804, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1804 - CPI in 1803CPI in 1803
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

11.8 - 11.311.3

News headlines from 1803

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

  • John Hawkins and Richard French, patent the reaping machine
  • America makes the Louisiana Purchase.
  • The Surrey Iron Railway opens in London
  • The Louisiana Purchase is formally marked by the lowering of the French flag in New Orleans
  • 1978 Sweden introduces a ban on aerosols.
  • Over 30 countries ratify the Environmental Modification Convention, prohibiting weather warefare
  • Karol Wojtyla, Polish Cardinal, is elected as the new pope, taking the name Pope John Paul II
  • Iranian General Gholam Reza Azhari forms a military government placing Iran under military rule.
  • 918 members of Peoples Temple cult, led by Jim Jones, were murdered or committed suicide in Jonestown Guyana.

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 1804 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 29 Oct. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1804.

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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Inflation from 1803 to 1804
Average inflation rate 4.42%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.04
Price difference ($1 base) $0.04
CPI in 1803 11.300
CPI in 1804 11.800
Inflation in 1803 5.61%
Inflation in 1804 4.42%