$3 in 1940 → $53.48 in 2018

Inflation Calculator

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1940-2018 ($3)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.76% per year. Prices in 2018 are 1682.7% higher than prices in 1940.

In other words, $3 in the year 1940 is equivalent in purchasing power to $53.48 in 2018, a difference of $50.48 over 78 years.

Compared to last year's annual rate, the inflation rate in 2018 is now 1.95%1. If this number holds, $3 today would be equivalent to $3.06 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.

Inflation from 1940 to 2018
Cumulative price change 1682.67%
Average inflation rate 3.76%
Price difference ($3 base) $50.48
CPI in 1940 14
CPI in 2018 249.554


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Legal services · College tuition and fees · Baby food · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

S&P 500 price · S&P 500 earnings · Shiller P/E

How to calculate the inflation rate for $3 since 1940

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1940 * 1940 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 14 in the year 1940 and 249.554 in 2018:

249.554 / 14 * $3 = $53.48

$3 in 1940 has the same "purchasing power" as $53.48 in 2018.


Inflation Data Source

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: “$3 in 1940 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 26 May. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/1940-dollars?amount=3.


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