U.S. inflation rate in 1918: 17.97%

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Inflation since 1918 and its effect on dollar value

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1918 was 15.1. It was 12.8 in the previous year. This change in CPI is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate inflation.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.85% per year. Prices in 2018 are 1566.2% higher than prices in 1918.

In other words, $100 in 1918 is equivalent in purchasing power to $1,666.16 in 2018, a difference of $1,566.16 over 100 years.

The current inflation rate is now 2.80%1. If this number holds, $100 today will be equivalent to $102.80 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.

Inflation from 1918 to 2018
Cumulative price change 1566.16%
Average inflation rate 2.85%
Converted amount ($100 base) $1,666.16
Price difference ($100 base) $1,566.16
CPI in 1918 15.1
CPI in 2018 251.59


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2018


Inflation rates for specific categories

Legal services · Rent of primary residence · Televisions · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $100 since 1918

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1918 * 1918 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 15.1 in the year 1918 and 251.59 in 2018:

251.59 / 15.1 * $100 = $1,666.16

$100 in 1918 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1,666.16 in 2018.


Here are calculations of buying power over time for $100 in 1918 (price index tracking began in 1913). Each of these USD amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:
Year USD Value Inflation Rate
1918 $100.00 17.97%
1919 $114.57 14.57%
1920 $132.45 15.61%
1921 $118.54 -10.50%
1922 $111.26 -6.15%
1923 $113.25 1.79%
1924 $113.25 0.00%
1925 $115.89 2.34%
1926 $117.22 1.14%
1927 $115.23 -1.69%
1928 $113.25 -1.72%
1929 $113.25 0.00%
1930 $110.60 -2.34%
1931 $100.66 -8.98%
1932 $90.73 -9.87%
1933 $86.09 -5.11%
1934 $88.74 3.08%
1935 $90.73 2.24%
1936 $92.05 1.46%
1937 $95.36 3.60%
1938 $93.38 -2.08%
1939 $92.05 -1.42%
1940 $92.72 0.72%
1941 $97.35 5.00%
1942 $107.95 10.88%
1943 $114.57 6.13%
1944 $116.56 1.73%
1945 $119.21 2.27%
1946 $129.14 8.33%
1947 $147.68 14.36%
1948 $159.60 8.07%
1949 $157.62 -1.24%
1950 $159.60 1.26%
1951 $172.19 7.88%
1952 $175.50 1.92%
1953 $176.82 0.75%
1954 $178.15 0.75%
1955 $177.48 -0.37%
1956 $180.13 1.49%
1957 $186.09 3.31%
1958 $191.39 2.85%
1959 $192.72 0.69%
1960 $196.03 1.72%
1961 $198.01 1.01%
1962 $200.00 1.00%
1963 $202.65 1.32%
1964 $205.30 1.31%
1965 $208.61 1.61%
1966 $214.57 2.86%
1967 $221.19 3.09%
1968 $230.46 4.19%
1969 $243.05 5.46%
1970 $256.95 5.72%
1971 $268.21 4.38%
1972 $276.82 3.21%
1973 $294.04 6.22%
1974 $326.49 11.04%
1975 $356.29 9.13%
1976 $376.82 5.76%
1977 $401.32 6.50%
1978 $431.79 7.59%
1979 $480.79 11.35%
1980 $545.70 13.50%
1981 $601.99 10.32%
1982 $639.07 6.16%
1983 $659.60 3.21%
1984 $688.08 4.32%
1985 $712.58 3.56%
1986 $725.83 1.86%
1987 $752.32 3.65%
1988 $783.44 4.14%
1989 $821.19 4.82%
1990 $865.56 5.40%
1991 $901.99 4.21%
1992 $929.14 3.01%
1993 $956.95 2.99%
1994 $981.46 2.56%
1995 $1,009.27 2.83%
1996 $1,039.07 2.95%
1997 $1,062.91 2.29%
1998 $1,079.47 1.56%
1999 $1,103.31 2.21%
2000 $1,140.40 3.36%
2001 $1,172.85 2.85%
2002 $1,191.39 1.58%
2003 $1,218.54 2.28%
2004 $1,250.99 2.66%
2005 $1,293.38 3.39%
2006 $1,335.10 3.23%
2007 $1,373.13 2.85%
2008 $1,425.85 3.84%
2009 $1,420.77 -0.36%
2010 $1,444.08 1.64%
2011 $1,489.66 3.16%
2012 $1,520.49 2.07%
2013 $1,542.76 1.46%
2014 $1,567.79 1.62%
2015 $1,569.65 0.12%
2016 $1,589.45 1.26%
2017 $1,621.10 1.99%
2018 $1,666.16 2.78%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

News headlines from 1918

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

  • First recorded case of Spanish flu in Kansas, marking the beginning of a worldwide pandemic killing millions.
  • The Bolshevik Party changes its name to the Communist Party.
  • Moscow is declared the capital of Russia.
  • Tsar Nicholas II of Russia is executed along with his family by a Bolshevik squad in Ekaterinburg.

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 1918 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 21 Jun. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1918.


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