$1 in 1970 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.04 in 1971. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 4.38% per year between 1970 and 1971, producing a cumulative price increase of 4.38%. Purchasing power decreased by 4.38% in 1971 compared to 1970. On average, you would have to spend 4.38% more money in 1971 than in 1970 for the same item.

This means that prices in 1971 are 1.04 times higher than average prices since 1970, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The 1970 inflation rate was 5.72%. The inflation rate in 1971 was 4.38%. The 1971 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 3.89% per year between 1971 and 2021.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1971 was 40.50. It was 38.80 in the previous year, 1970. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.

Contents

⌃

Average inflation rate | 4.38% |

Converted amount ($1 base) | $1.04 |

Price difference ($1 base) | $0.04 |

CPI in 1970 | 38.800 |

CPI in 1971 | 40.500 |

Inflation in 1970 | 5.72% |

Inflation in 1971 | 4.38% |

$1 in 1970 | $1.04 in 1971 |

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1970 to 1971 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $1):

**New York**: 5.79% average rate, $1 → $1.06, cumulative change of 5.79%**Boston, Massachusetts**: 5.32% average rate, $1 → $1.05, cumulative change of 5.32%**Philadelphia, Pennsylvania**: 4.89% average rate, $1 → $1.05, cumulative change of 4.89%**Atlanta, Georgia**: 4.72% average rate, $1 → $1.05, cumulative change of 4.72%**Chicago, Illinois**: 3.94% average rate, $1 → $1.04, cumulative change of 3.94%**San Francisco, California**: 3.80% average rate, $1 → $1.04, cumulative change of 3.80%**Houston, Texas**: 3.72% average rate, $1 → $1.04, cumulative change of 3.72%**Detroit, Michigan**: 3.65% average rate, $1 → $1.04, cumulative change of 3.65%**Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas**: 3.07% average rate, $1 → $1.03, cumulative change of 3.07%**Seattle, Washington**: 2.19% average rate, $1 → $1.02, cumulative change of 2.19%

New York experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1970 and 1971 (5.79%).

Seattle, Washington experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1970 and 1971 (2.19%).

Note that some locations showing 0% inflation may have not yet reported latest data.

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1970 would be equivalent to £1.09 in 1971, an absolute change of £0.09 and a cumulative change of 9.44%.

In Canada, CA$1.00 in 1970 would be equivalent to CA$1.05 in 1971, an absolute change of CA$0.05 and a cumulative change of 4.93%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $0.04 and total percent change of 4.38%.

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 1970 and 1971.

Compare these values to the overall average of 4.38% per year:

Category | Avg Inflation (%) | Total Inflation (%) | $1 in 1970 → 1971 |
---|---|---|---|

Food and beverages | 3.12 | 3.12 | 1.03 |

Housing | 4.45 | 4.45 | 1.04 |

Apparel | 3.24 | 3.24 | 1.03 |

Transportation | 5.25 | 5.25 | 1.05 |

Medical care | 6.46 | 6.46 | 1.06 |

Recreation | 0.00 | 0.00 | 1.00 |

Education and communication | 0.00 | 0.00 | 1.00 |

Other goods and services | 4.74 | 4.74 | 1.05 |

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 1970. 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 1970 and 1971:

CPI in 1971
CPI in 1970

×

1970 USD value

=

1971 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 38.8 in the year 1970 and 40.5 in 1971:

40.538.8

×

$1

=

$1 in 1970 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1.04 in 1971.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1970 and 1971, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1971 - CPI in 1970CPI in 1970

×

100

=

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

40.5 - 38.838.8

×

100

=

The above data describe the CPI for all items. Also of note is the **Core CPI**, which measures inflation for all items except for the more volatile categories of food and energy.
Core inflation averaged 4.69% per year between 1970 and 1971 (vs all-CPI inflation of 4.38%), for an inflation total of 4.69%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $1 in 1970 is equivalent in buying power to $1.05 in 1971, a difference of $0.05. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $1.04 with a difference of $0.04.

In 1970, core inflation was 6.25%.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $1 in the S&P 500 index in 1970, our investment would be * nominally* worth approximately $1.23 in 1971. This is a return on investment of 22.60%, with an absolute return of $0.23 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 4.20% of returns ($0.05) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted * real* return of our $1 investment is $0.17. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $0 for most people.

Original Amount | Final Amount | Change | |
---|---|---|---|

Nominal |
$1 | $1.23 | 22.60% |

RealInflation Adjusted |
$1 | $1.17 | 17.45% |

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 1970 to latest available data for 1971 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 1970 and 1971, see the stock market returns calculator.

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

- January 1st, 1970 established as Epoch time for UNIX systems.
- Rhodesia declares independence and sets up a republican government.
- Aswan Dam opens in Egypt to prevent flooding of the Nile River.
- A Palestinian terrorist organization hijacks three aircrafts in an incident that is later known as Black September.

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 1971 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 21 Sep. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1971.

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 | 4.38% |

Converted amount ($1 base) | $1.04 |

Price difference ($1 base) | $0.04 |

CPI in 1970 | 38.800 |

CPI in 1971 | 40.500 |

Inflation in 1970 | 5.72% |

Inflation in 1971 | 4.38% |

$1 in 1970 | $1.04 in 1971 |