U.S. inflation rate in 1837: 3.23%

Inflation in 1837 and its effect on dollar value

Purchasing power decreased by 3.23% in 1837 compared to 1836. On average, you would have to spend 3.23% more money in 1837 than in 1836 for the same item.

In other words, $1 in 1836 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.03 in 1837.

The 1836 inflation rate was 5.68%. The inflation rate in 1837 was 3.23%. The 1837 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 1.81% per year between 1837 and 2020.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1837 was 9.60. It was 9.30 in the previous year, 1836. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.


Inflation from 1836 to 1837
Average inflation rate 3.23%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.03
Price difference ($1 base) $0.03
CPI in 1836 9.300
CPI in 1837 9.600
Inflation in 1836 5.68%
Inflation in 1837 3.23%

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

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1836 would be equivalent to £1.02 in 1837, an absolute change of £0.02 and a cumulative change of 2.02%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $0.03 and total percent change of 3.23%.


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 1836 and 1837.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.23% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1 in 1836 → 1837
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 1836. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1, 1836 to 1837

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1836 and 1837:

CPI in 1837 CPI in 1836
×
1836 USD value
=
1837 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 9.3 in the year 1836 and 9.6 in 1837:

9.69.3
×
$1
=
$1.03

$1 in 1836 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1.03 in 1837.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1836 and 1837, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1837 - CPI in 1836CPI in 1836
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

9.6 - 9.39.3
×
100
=
3%

News headlines from 1836

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

  • The siege of Alamo under the command of Mexican General Santa Anna, lasts for thirteen days and results in very few of the defenders surviving.
  • At the Battle of the Alamo Mexican soldiers kill 182-257 Texans during 13 days of fighting.
  • Mexico's independence is recognized by Spain.

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 1837 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 6 Jul. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1837.

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 1836 to 1837
Average inflation rate 3.23%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.03
Price difference ($1 base) $0.03
CPI in 1836 9.300
CPI in 1837 9.600
Inflation in 1836 5.68%
Inflation in 1837 3.23%