$1 in 1840 is worth $1.07 in 1839

Value of $1 from 1840 to 1839

$1 in 1840 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.07 in 1839. The dollar had an average deflation rate of -6.45% per year since 1839, producing a cumulative price change of 6.90%.

This means that prices in 1839 are 1.07 times higher than average prices since 1840, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The 1839 inflation rate was 0.00%. The inflation rate in 1840 was -6.45%. The 1840 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 1.92% per year between 1840 and 2021.


Inflation from 1840 to 1839
Average inflation rate -6.45%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.07
Price difference ($1 base) $0.07
CPI in 1840 8.700
CPI in 1839 9.300
Inflation in 1839 0.00%
Inflation in 1840 -6.45%
$1 in 1840 $1.07 in 1839

USD Inflation since 1635
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
Download

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1840 would be equivalent to £0.98 in 1839, an absolute change of £-0.02 and a cumulative change of -1.80%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $0.07 and total percent change of 6.90%.


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 1840 and 1839.

Compare these values to the overall average of -6.45% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1 in 1839 → 1840
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 1840. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1, 1839 to 1840

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1839 and 1840:

CPI in 1839 CPI in 1840
×
1840 USD value
=
1839 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 8.7 in the year 1840 and 9.3 in 1839:

9.38.7
×
$1
=
$1.07

$1 in 1840 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1.07 in 1839.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1839 and 1840, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1839 - CPI in 1840CPI in 1840
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

9.3 - 8.78.7
×
100
=
7%

News headlines from 1839

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

  • Identification of Antarctica as a new continent by American naval expedition lead by Charles Wilkes.
  • Charles Wilkes discovers Antarctica in an American naval expedition.
  • Charles Wilkes discovers the Shackleton Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
  • The world’s first postage stamp, the Penny Black, is released.
  • Samuel Morse patents the telegraph.

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: “$1 in 1840 → 1839 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 24 Oct. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1840?amount=1&endYear=1839.

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 1840 to 1839
Average inflation rate -6.45%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.07
Price difference ($1 base) $0.07
CPI in 1840 8.700
CPI in 1839 9.300
Inflation in 1839 0.00%
Inflation in 1840 -6.45%
$1 in 1840 $1.07 in 1839