# \$1 in 1940 → \$1.26 in 1944

## Inflation Calculator

\$

### U.S. Inflation Rate, \$1 from 1940 to 1944

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 1944 are 25.71% higher than average prices since 1940. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 5.89% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, \$1 in 1940 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$1.26 in 1944, a difference of \$0.26 over 4 years.

The 1940 inflation rate was 0.72%. The inflation rate in 1944 was 1.73%. The 1944 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 3.60% per year between 1944 and 2020.

 Cumulative price change 25.71% Average inflation rate 5.89% Converted amount (\$1 base) \$1.26 Price difference (\$1 base) \$0.26 CPI in 1940 14.000 CPI in 1944 17.600 Inflation in 1940 0.72% Inflation in 1944 1.73%

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

### Buying power of \$1 in 1940

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$1 in 1940 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$1, you would need to end with \$1.26 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When \$1 is equivalent to \$1.26 over time, that means that the "real value" of a single U.S. dollar decreases over time. In other words, a dollar will pay for fewer items at the store.

This effect explains how inflation erodes the value of a dollar over time. By calculating the value in 1940 dollars, the chart below shows how \$1 buys less over the past 4 years.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, each of these USD amounts below is equal in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1940 \$1.00 0.72%
1941 \$1.05 5.00%
1942 \$1.16 10.88%
1943 \$1.24 6.13%
1944 \$1.26 1.73%
1945 \$1.29 2.27%
1946 \$1.39 8.33%
1947 \$1.59 14.36%
1948 \$1.72 8.07%
1949 \$1.70 -1.24%
1950 \$1.72 1.26%
1951 \$1.86 7.88%
1952 \$1.89 1.92%
1953 \$1.91 0.75%
1954 \$1.92 0.75%
1955 \$1.91 -0.37%
1956 \$1.94 1.49%
1957 \$2.01 3.31%
1958 \$2.06 2.85%
1959 \$2.08 0.69%
1960 \$2.11 1.72%
1961 \$2.14 1.01%
1962 \$2.16 1.00%
1963 \$2.19 1.32%
1964 \$2.21 1.31%
1965 \$2.25 1.61%
1966 \$2.31 2.86%
1967 \$2.39 3.09%
1968 \$2.49 4.19%
1969 \$2.62 5.46%
1970 \$2.77 5.72%
1971 \$2.89 4.38%
1972 \$2.99 3.21%
1973 \$3.17 6.22%
1974 \$3.52 11.04%
1975 \$3.84 9.13%
1976 \$4.06 5.76%
1977 \$4.33 6.50%
1978 \$4.66 7.59%
1979 \$5.19 11.35%
1980 \$5.89 13.50%
1981 \$6.49 10.32%
1982 \$6.89 6.16%
1983 \$7.11 3.21%
1984 \$7.42 4.32%
1985 \$7.69 3.56%
1986 \$7.83 1.86%
1987 \$8.11 3.65%
1988 \$8.45 4.14%
1989 \$8.86 4.82%
1990 \$9.34 5.40%
1991 \$9.73 4.21%
1992 \$10.02 3.01%
1993 \$10.32 2.99%
1994 \$10.59 2.56%
1995 \$10.89 2.83%
1996 \$11.21 2.95%
1997 \$11.46 2.29%
1998 \$11.64 1.56%
1999 \$11.90 2.21%
2000 \$12.30 3.36%
2001 \$12.65 2.85%
2002 \$12.85 1.58%
2003 \$13.14 2.28%
2004 \$13.49 2.66%
2005 \$13.95 3.39%
2006 \$14.40 3.23%
2007 \$14.81 2.85%
2008 \$15.38 3.84%
2009 \$15.32 -0.36%
2010 \$15.58 1.64%
2011 \$16.07 3.16%
2012 \$16.40 2.07%
2013 \$16.64 1.46%
2014 \$16.91 1.62%
2015 \$16.93 0.12%
2016 \$17.14 1.26%
2017 \$17.51 2.13%
2018 \$17.95 2.49%
2019 \$18.26 1.76%
2020 \$18.43 0.90%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.

### Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1940 to 1944 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of \$1):

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 4 years between 1940 and 1944 (6.62%).

Houston, Texas experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 4 years between 1940 and 1944 (5.20%).

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

### Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1940 would be equivalent to £1.26 in 1944, an absolute change of £0.26 and a cumulative change of 26.24%.

In Canada, CA\$1.00 in 1940 would be equivalent to CA\$1.10 in 1944, an absolute change of CA\$0.10 and a cumulative change of 9.76%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$0.26 and total percent change of 25.71%.

### 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 1940 and 1944.

Compare these values to the overall average of 5.89% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$1 in 1940 → 1944
Food and beverages 0.00 0.00 1.00
Housing 0.00 0.00 1.00
Apparel 8.12 36.64 1.37
Transportation 2.83 11.81 1.12
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

The graph below compares inflation in categories of goods over time. Click on a category such as "Food" to toggle it on or off:

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 1940. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

### How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$1, 1940 to 1944

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1944CPI in 1940
×
1940 USD value
=
1944 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 14 in the year 1940 and 17.6 in 1944:

17.614
×
\$1
=
\$1.26

\$1 in 1940 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$1.26 in 1944.

To get the total inflation rate for the 4 years between 1940 and 1944, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1944 - CPI in 1940CPI in 1940
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (4 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

17.6 - 1414
×
100
=
26%

### Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 5.89% has a compounding effect between 1940 and 1944. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 25.71% over 4 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested \$1 in the S&P 500 index in 1940, our investment would be nominally worth approximately \$1.49 in 1944. This is a return on investment of 49.10%, with an absolute return of \$0.49 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 20.45% of returns (\$0.30) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our \$1 investment is \$0.19. 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, 1940-1944
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal \$1 \$1.49 49.10%
Real
\$1 \$1.19 18.60%

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 1940 to latest available data for 1944 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 1940 and 1944, see the stock market returns calculator.

### 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 1940 → 1944 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 21 Feb. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1940?amount=1&endYear=1944.