# U.S. inflation rate in 1857: 2.35%

\$

## Inflation in 1857 and its effect on dollar value

\$1 in 1856 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$1.02 in 1857. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 2.35% per year between 1856 and 1857, producing a cumulative price increase of 2.35%. Purchasing power decreased by 2.35% in 1857 compared to 1856. On average, you would have to spend 2.35% more money in 1857 than in 1856 for the same item.

This means that prices in 1857 are 1.02 times as high as average prices since 1856, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The inflation rate in 1856 was -2.30%. The inflation rate in 1857 was 2.35%. The 1857 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 2.17% per year between 1857 and 2024.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1857 was 8.70. It was 8.50 in the previous year, 1856. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.

 Average inflation rate 2.35% Converted amount\$1 base \$1.02 Price difference\$1 base \$0.02 CPI in 1856 8.500 CPI in 1857 8.700 Inflation in 1856 -2.30% Inflation in 1857 2.35% \$1 in 1856 \$1.02 in 1857

Recent USD inflation
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 1856 would be equivalent to £0.95 in 1857, an absolute change of £-0.05 and a cumulative change of -4.76%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$0.02 and total percent change of 2.35%.

## 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 1856 and 1857.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.35% per year:

CategoryAvg Inflation (%)Total Inflation (%)\$1 in 1856 → 1857
Food and beverages0.000.001.00
Housing0.000.001.00
Apparel0.000.001.00
Transportation0.000.001.00
Medical care0.000.001.00
Recreation0.000.001.00
Education and communication0.000.001.00
Other goods and services0.000.001.00

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 1856. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

## How to calculate inflation rate for \$1, 1856 to 1857

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1856 and 1857:

CPI in 1857 CPI in 1856
×
1856 USD value
=
1857 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 8.5 in the year 1856 and 8.7 in 1857:

8.78.5
×
\$1
=
\$1.02

\$1 in 1856 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$1.02 in 1857.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1856 and 1857, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1857 - CPI in 1856CPI in 1856
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

8.7 - 8.58.5
×
100
=
2%

## Data source & citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (CPI), established in 1913. Price index data from 1774 to 1912 is sourced from a historical study conducted by political science professor Robert Sahr at Oregon State University and from the American Antiquarian Society. Price index data from 1634 to 1773 is from the American Antiquarian Society, using British pound equivalents.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “Inflation Rate in 1857 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 13 Jun. 2024, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1857.

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.

#### 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.

 Average inflation rate 2.35% Converted amount\$1 base \$1.02 Price difference\$1 base \$0.02 CPI in 1856 8.500 CPI in 1857 8.700 Inflation in 1856 -2.30% Inflation in 1857 2.35% \$1 in 1856 \$1.02 in 1857