$1 in 1857 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $0.94 in 1858.
The dollar had an average **deflation** rate of -5.75% per year since 1857, producing a cumulative price change of -5.75%.
Purchasing power *increased* by 5.75% in 1858 compared to 1857. On average, you would have to spend 5.75% *less* money in 1858 than in 1857 for the same item.
This is an example of **deflation**.

This means that prices in 1858 are 5.75% lower than average prices since 1857, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The 1857 inflation rate was 2.35%. The inflation rate in 1858 was -5.75%. The 1858 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.18% per year between 1858 and 2021.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1858 was 8.20. It was 8.70 in the previous year, 1857. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation. Because the 1858 CPI is less than 1857 CPI, negative inflation (also known as deflation) has occurred.

Contents

⌃

Average inflation rate | -5.75% |

Converted amount ($1 base) | $0.94 |

Price difference ($1 base) | $-0.06 |

CPI in 1857 | 8.700 |

CPI in 1858 | 8.200 |

Inflation in 1857 | 2.35% |

Inflation in 1858 | -5.75% |

$1 in 1857 | $0.94 in 1858 |

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1857 would be equivalent to £0.91 in 1858, an absolute change of £-0.09 and a cumulative change of -9.00%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $-0.06 and total percent change of -5.75%.

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 1857 and 1858.

Compare these values to the overall average of -5.75% per year:

Category | Avg Inflation (%) | Total Inflation (%) | $1 in 1857 → 1858 |
---|---|---|---|

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 1857. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1857 and 1858:

CPI in 1858
CPI in 1857

×

1857 USD value

=

1858 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 8.7 in the year 1857 and 8.2 in 1858:

8.28.7

×

$1

=

$1 in 1857 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $0.94 in 1858.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1857 and 1858, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1858 - CPI in 1857CPI in 1857

×

100

=

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

8.2 - 8.78.7

×

100

=

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

- Foundation of the University of Calcutta as the first full-fledged university in South Asia.
- France and the UK declare war on China, in the Second Opium War.
- Africans denied US citizenship by a Supreme Court ruling (Dred Scott Decision).
- Queen Victoria awards the Victoria Cross to 62 recipients after the Crimean war.

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index (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 1858 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 22 Sep. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1858.

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.

Average inflation rate | -5.75% |

Converted amount ($1 base) | $0.94 |

Price difference ($1 base) | $-0.06 |

CPI in 1857 | 8.700 |

CPI in 1858 | 8.200 |

Inflation in 1857 | 2.35% |

Inflation in 1858 | -5.75% |

$1 in 1857 | $0.94 in 1858 |