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U.S. inflation rate in 1850: 1.30%

Inflation in 1850 and Its Effect on Dollar Value

Purchasing power decreased by 1.30% in 1850 compared to 1849. On average, you would have to spend 1.30% more money in 1850 than in 1849 for the same item.

In other words, \$1 in 1849 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$1.01 in 1850.

The 1849 inflation rate was -2.53%. The inflation rate in 1850 was 1.30%. The 1850 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.08% per year between 1850 and 2020.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1850 was 7.80. It was 7.70 in the previous year, 1849. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.

 Average inflation rate 1.30% Converted amount (\$1 base) \$1.01 Price difference (\$1 base) \$0.01 CPI in 1849 7.700 CPI in 1850 7.800 Inflation in 1849 -2.53% Inflation in 1850 1.30%

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 1849 would be equivalent to £0.94 in 1850, an absolute change of £-0.06 and a cumulative change of -5.62%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$0.01 and total percent change of 1.30%.

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 1849 and 1850.

Compare these values to the overall average of 1.30% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$1 in 1849 → 1850
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 1849. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$1, 1849 to 1850

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1850CPI in 1849
×
1849 USD value
=
1850 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 7.7 in the year 1849 and 7.8 in 1850:

7.87.7
×
\$1
=
\$1.01

\$1 in 1849 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$1.01 in 1850.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1849 and 1850, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1850 - CPI in 1849CPI in 1849
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

7.8 - 7.77.7
×
100
=
1%

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

• Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky's execution is cancelled at the last moment.
• Elisabeth Blackwell is the first woman in the United States to earn a medical degree.
• First photograph of a US president is taken in New York, when Matthew Bady photographed President James Knox Polk

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 1850 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 23 Jan. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1850.