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# U.S. inflation rate in 1875: -3.51%

### Inflation in 1875 and Its Effect on Dollar Value

Purchasing power increased by 3.51% in 1875 compared to 1874. On average, you would have to spend 3.51% less money in 1875 than in 1874 for the same item. This is an example of deflation.

In other words, \$1 in 1874 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$0.96 in 1875.

The 1874 inflation rate was -5.00%. The inflation rate in 1875 was -3.51%. The 1875 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.20% per year between 1875 and 2020.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1875 was 11.00. It was 11.40 in the previous year, 1874. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation. Because the 1875 CPI is less than 1874 CPI, negative inflation (also known as deflation) has occurred.

 Average inflation rate -3.51% Converted amount (\$1 base) \$0.96 Price difference (\$1 base) \$-0.04 CPI in 1874 11.400 CPI in 1875 11.000 Inflation in 1874 -5.00% Inflation in 1875 -3.51%

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 1874 would be equivalent to £0.98 in 1875, an absolute change of £-0.02 and a cumulative change of -2.00%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$-0.04 and total percent change of -3.51%.

### 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 1874 and 1875.

Compare these values to the overall average of -3.51% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$1 in 1874 → 1875
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 1874. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

### How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$1, 1874 to 1875

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1875CPI in 1874
×
1874 USD value
=
1875 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 11.4 in the year 1874 and 11 in 1875:

1111.4
×
\$1
=
\$0.96

\$1 in 1874 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$0.96 in 1875.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1874 and 1875, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1875 - CPI in 1874CPI in 1874
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

11 - 11.411.4
×
100
=
-4%

### Comparison to S&P 500 Index

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested \$1 in the S&P 500 index in 1874, our investment would be nominally worth approximately \$1.10 in 1875. This is a return on investment of 10.38%, with an absolute return of \$0.10 on top of the original \$1.

These numbers are not inflation adjusted, so they are considered nominal. In order to evaluate the real return on our investment, we must calculate the return with inflation taken into account.

The compounding effect of inflation would account for -3.64% of returns (\$-0.04) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our \$1 investment is \$0.14. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around \$0 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1874-1875
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal \$1 \$1.10 10.38%
Real
\$1 \$1.14 14.39%

Information displayed above may differ slightly from other S&P 500 calculators. Minor discrepancies can occur because we use the latest CPI data for inflation, annualized inflation numbers for previous years, and we compute S&P price and dividends from January of 1874 to latest available data for 1875 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 1874 and 1875, see the stock market returns calculator.

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

• Opening of the first civic public park, Birkenhead Park, designed by Joseph Paxton in Birkenhead, England.
• A Train robbery at Gads Hill, Missouri, is performed by Jesse James’ gang.
• Benjamin Disraeli becomes the British Prime Minister, succeeding William Gladstone.

### 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 1875 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 24 Jan. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1875.