£1 in 1940 is worth £0.82 in 1937

Value of £1 from 1940 to 1937

According to the Office for National Statistics composite price index, prices in 1937 are 17.82% lower than average prices since 1940. The British pound experienced an average inflation rate of 6.76% per year during this period, causing the real value of a pound to decrease.

In other words, £1 in 1940 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £0.82 in 1937, a difference of £-0.18 over 3 years.

The 1937 inflation rate was 3.75%. The inflation rate in 1940 was 16.76%. The 1940 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 5.17% per year between 1940 and 2020.


Inflation from 1940 to 1937
Cumulative price change -17.82%
Average inflation rate 6.76%
Converted amount (£1 base) £0.82
Price difference (£1 base) £-0.18
CPI in 1940 20.200
CPI in 1937 16.600
Inflation in 1937 3.75%
Inflation in 1940 16.76%

GBP Inflation since 1750
Annual Rate, the Office for National Statistics CPI
Download

Buying power of £1 in 1937

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for £1 in 1937 (price index tracking began in 1750).

For example, if you started with £1, you would need to end with £0.82 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When £1 is equivalent to £0.82 over time, that means that the "real value" of a single U.K. pound decreases over time. In other words, a pound will pay for fewer items at the store.

This effect explains how inflation erodes the value of a pound over time. By calculating the value in 1937 dollars, the chart below shows how £1 is worth less over 3 years.

According to the Office for National Statistics, each of these GBP amounts below is equal in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Pound inflation: 1937-1940
Year Pound Value Inflation Rate
1937 £1.00 3.75%
1938 £1.01 1.20%
1939 £1.04 2.98%
1940 £1.22 16.76%
1941 £1.35 10.89%
1942 £1.45 7.14%
1943 £1.49 3.33%
1944 £1.54 2.82%
1945 £1.58 2.75%
1946 £1.63 3.05%
1947 £1.74 7.04%
1948 £1.87 7.61%
1949 £1.93 2.89%
1950 £1.99 3.13%
1951 £2.17 9.09%
1952 £2.37 9.17%
1953 £2.44 3.05%
1954 £2.49 1.98%
1955 £2.60 4.36%
1956 £2.73 5.10%
1957 £2.83 3.53%
1958 £2.92 3.20%
1959 £2.93 0.41%
1960 £2.96 1.03%
1961 £3.06 3.46%
1962 £3.19 4.33%
1963 £3.25 1.89%
1964 £3.36 3.33%
1965 £3.52 4.66%
1966 £3.66 3.94%
1967 £3.75 2.64%
1968 £3.93 4.65%
1969 £4.14 5.37%
1970 £4.40 6.40%
1971 £4.82 9.44%
1972 £5.16 7.13%
1973 £5.63 9.10%
1974 £6.54 16.04%
1975 £8.12 24.24%
1976 £9.46 16.54%
1977 £10.96 15.85%
1978 £11.87 8.30%
1979 £13.46 13.39%
1980 £15.89 17.99%
1981 £17.77 11.87%
1982 £19.30 8.61%
1983 £20.19 4.59%
1984 £21.19 4.98%
1985 £22.48 6.08%
1986 £23.25 3.40%
1987 £24.22 4.17%
1988 £25.40 4.90%
1989 £27.38 7.78%
1990 £29.97 9.46%
1991 £31.73 5.87%
1992 £32.92 3.74%
1993 £33.44 1.59%
1994 £34.25 2.41%
1995 £35.43 3.47%
1996 £36.29 2.41%
1997 £37.43 3.14%
1998 £38.71 3.43%
1999 £39.31 1.54%
2000 £40.47 2.96%
2001 £41.19 1.77%
2002 £41.87 1.67%
2003 £43.08 2.89%
2004 £44.37 2.98%
2005 £45.62 2.82%
2006 £47.08 3.20%
2007 £49.10 4.29%
2008 £51.05 3.99%
2009 £50.78 -0.53%
2010 £53.13 4.61%
2011 £55.89 5.20%
2012 £57.69 3.21%
2013 £59.44 3.04%
2014 £60.84 2.36%
2015 £61.45 0.99%
2016 £62.51 1.74%
2017 £64.75 3.58%
2018 £66.36 2.48%
2019 £67.56 1.80%
2020 £68.57 1.50%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.

This conversion table shows various other 1937 amounts in 1940 pounds, based on the -17.82% change in prices:

Conversion Table: Value of a pound in 1940
Initial value Equivalent value
£1 pound in 1937 £1.22 pounds in 1940
£5 pounds in 1937 £6.08 pounds in 1940
£10 pounds in 1937 £12.17 pounds in 1940
£50 pounds in 1937 £60.84 pounds in 1940
£100 pounds in 1937 £121.69 pounds in 1940
£500 pounds in 1937 £608.43 pounds in 1940
£1,000 pounds in 1937 £1,216.87 pounds in 1940
£5,000 pounds in 1937 £6,084.34 pounds in 1940
£10,000 pounds in 1937 £12,168.67 pounds in 1940
£50,000 pounds in 1937 £60,843.37 pounds in 1940
£100,000 pounds in 1937 £121,686.75 pounds in 1940
£500,000 pounds in 1937 £608,433.73 pounds in 1940
£1,000,000 pounds in 1937 £1,216,867.47 pounds in 1940

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for £1, 1937 to 1940

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1937 and 1940:

CPI in 1937 CPI in 1940
×
1940 GBP value
=
1937 GBP value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.K. CPI was 20.2 in the year 1940 and 16.6 in 1937:

16.620.2
×
£1
=
£0.82

£1 in 1940 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as £0.82 in 1937.

To get the total inflation rate for the 3 years between 1937 and 1940, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1937 - CPI in 1940CPI in 1940
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (3 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

16.6 - 20.220.2
×
100
=
-18%

Data Source & Citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the composite price index published by the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS). A composite index is created by combining price data from several different published sources, both official and unofficial. The Consumer Price Index, normally used to compute inflation, has only been tracked since 1988. All inflation calculations after 1988 use the Office for National Statistics' Consumer Price Index, except for 2017, which is based on The Bank of England's forecast.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “£1 in 1940 → 1937 | UK Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 31 Oct. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/uk/inflation/1940?amount=1&endYear=1937.

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.


Ian Webster

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.

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Inflation from 1940 to 1937
Cumulative price change -17.82%
Average inflation rate 6.76%
Converted amount (£1 base) £0.82
Price difference (£1 base) £-0.18
CPI in 1940 20.200
CPI in 1937 16.600
Inflation in 1937 3.75%
Inflation in 1940 16.76%