U.S. inflation rate in 1917: 17.43%

Inflation Calculator

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1917-2018 ($100)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1917 was 12.8. the Bureau of Labor Statistics uses this CPI value to track inflation on a monthly basis.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.98% per year. Prices in 2018 are 1849.6% higher than prices in 1917.

In other words, $100 in the year 1917 is equivalent in purchasing power to $1,949.64 in 2018, a difference of $1,849.64 over 101 years.

Compared to last year's annual rate, the inflation rate in 2018 is now 1.95%1. If this number holds, $100 today would be equivalent to $101.95 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.

Inflation from 1917 to 2018
Cumulative price change 1849.64%
Average inflation rate 2.98%
Price difference ($100 base) $1,849.64
CPI in 1917 12.8
CPI in 2018 249.554


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Fish and seafood · New trucks · Women's apparel · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $100 since 1917

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1917 * 1917 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 12.8 in the year 1917 and 249.554 in 2018:

249.554 / 12.8 * $100 = $1,949.64

$100 in 1917 has the same "purchasing power" as $1,949.64 in 2018.


News headlines from 1917

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

  • The Russian "February Revolution" begins alongside protests celebrating Women's Day and St Petersburg riots.
  • Tsar Nicholas II abdicates, nominating his brother, Grand Duke Michael, to succeed him.
  • President Wilson asks US Congress to declare war against Germany.
  • Vladimir Lenin issues the "April Theses" appealing for Soviets to take power during Russian Revolution.
  • Leon Trotsky becomes chairman of the Petrograd Soviet after the Bolsheviks gain control.

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: “Inflation Rate in 1917 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 25 May. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1917.


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