U.S. inflation rate in 1920: 15.61%

Inflation Calculator

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Inflation since 1920 and its effect on dollar value

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1920 was 20. It was 17.3 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 2.62% per year. Prices in 2018 are 1158.0% higher than prices in 1920.

In other words, $100 in 1920 is equivalent in purchasing power to $1,257.95 in 2018, a difference of $1,157.95 over 98 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 1920 to 2018
Cumulative price change 1157.95%
Average inflation rate 2.62%
Converted amount ($100 base) $1,257.95
Price difference ($100 base) $1,157.95
CPI in 1920 20
CPI in 2018 251.59


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2018


The above data describe the CPI for all items. Also of note is U.S. "Core Inflation," which measures the CPI for all items except for the more volatile categories of food and energy. Core inflation averaged NaN% per year between 1920 and 2018. In 1920, core inflation was 0.00%.


Inflation rates for specific categories

Medical care · Fresh fruits · Gasoline (all types) · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $100 since 1920

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1920 * 1920 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 20 in the year 1920 and 251.59 in 2018:

251.59 / 20 * $100 = $1,257.95

$100 in 1920 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1,257.95 in 2018.


Buying power of $100 since 1920

Below are calculations of buying power over time for $100 in 1920 (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
1920 $100.00 15.61%
1921 $89.50 -10.50%
1922 $84.00 -6.15%
1923 $85.50 1.79%
1924 $85.50 0.00%
1925 $87.50 2.34%
1926 $88.50 1.14%
1927 $87.00 -1.69%
1928 $85.50 -1.72%
1929 $85.50 0.00%
1930 $83.50 -2.34%
1931 $76.00 -8.98%
1932 $68.50 -9.87%
1933 $65.00 -5.11%
1934 $67.00 3.08%
1935 $68.50 2.24%
1936 $69.50 1.46%
1937 $72.00 3.60%
1938 $70.50 -2.08%
1939 $69.50 -1.42%
1940 $70.00 0.72%
1941 $73.50 5.00%
1942 $81.50 10.88%
1943 $86.50 6.13%
1944 $88.00 1.73%
1945 $90.00 2.27%
1946 $97.50 8.33%
1947 $111.50 14.36%
1948 $120.50 8.07%
1949 $119.00 -1.24%
1950 $120.50 1.26%
1951 $130.00 7.88%
1952 $132.50 1.92%
1953 $133.50 0.75%
1954 $134.50 0.75%
1955 $134.00 -0.37%
1956 $136.00 1.49%
1957 $140.50 3.31%
1958 $144.50 2.85%
1959 $145.50 0.69%
1960 $148.00 1.72%
1961 $149.50 1.01%
1962 $151.00 1.00%
1963 $153.00 1.32%
1964 $155.00 1.31%
1965 $157.50 1.61%
1966 $162.00 2.86%
1967 $167.00 3.09%
1968 $174.00 4.19%
1969 $183.50 5.46%
1970 $194.00 5.72%
1971 $202.50 4.38%
1972 $209.00 3.21%
1973 $222.00 6.22%
1974 $246.50 11.04%
1975 $269.00 9.13%
1976 $284.50 5.76%
1977 $303.00 6.50%
1978 $326.00 7.59%
1979 $363.00 11.35%
1980 $412.00 13.50%
1981 $454.50 10.32%
1982 $482.50 6.16%
1983 $498.00 3.21%
1984 $519.50 4.32%
1985 $538.00 3.56%
1986 $548.00 1.86%
1987 $568.00 3.65%
1988 $591.50 4.14%
1989 $620.00 4.82%
1990 $653.50 5.40%
1991 $681.00 4.21%
1992 $701.50 3.01%
1993 $722.50 2.99%
1994 $741.00 2.56%
1995 $762.00 2.83%
1996 $784.50 2.95%
1997 $802.50 2.29%
1998 $815.00 1.56%
1999 $833.00 2.21%
2000 $861.00 3.36%
2001 $885.50 2.85%
2002 $899.50 1.58%
2003 $920.00 2.28%
2004 $944.50 2.66%
2005 $976.50 3.39%
2006 $1,008.00 3.23%
2007 $1,036.71 2.85%
2008 $1,076.52 3.84%
2009 $1,072.69 -0.36%
2010 $1,090.28 1.64%
2011 $1,124.69 3.16%
2012 $1,147.97 2.07%
2013 $1,164.79 1.46%
2014 $1,183.68 1.62%
2015 $1,185.09 0.12%
2016 $1,200.04 1.26%
2017 $1,223.93 1.99%
2018 $1,257.95 2.78%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

News headlines from 1920

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

  • The League of Nations' first assembly takes place in Paris.
  • The British Parliament passes the Fourth Home Rule Act, dividing Ireland into two parts and leading to a yearlong Anglo-Irish war in the southern counties.
  • The Catholic Church canonizes Joan of Arc, formally making her a saint.
  • The 19th Amendment to the constitution is ratified, granting U.S. woman suffrage for the first time.

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: “Inflation Rate in 1920 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 23 Jun. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1920.


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