U.S. inflation rate in 1934: 3.08%

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Inflation since 1934 and its effect on dollar value

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1934 was 13.4. It was 13 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 3.55% per year. Prices in 2018 are 1777.5% higher than prices in 1934.

In other words, $100 in 1934 is equivalent in purchasing power to $1,877.54 in 2018, a difference of $1,777.54 over 84 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 1934 to 2018
Cumulative price change 1777.54%
Average inflation rate 3.55%
Converted amount ($100 base) $1,877.54
Price difference ($100 base) $1,777.54
CPI in 1934 13.4
CPI in 2018 251.59


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2018


Inflation rates for specific categories

Alcoholic beverages · Public transportation · Milk · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $100 since 1934

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1934 * 1934 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 13.4 in the year 1934 and 251.59 in 2018:

251.59 / 13.4 * $100 = $1,877.54

$100 in 1934 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1,877.54 in 2018.


Here are calculations of buying power over time for $100 in 1934 (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
1934 $100.00 3.08%
1935 $102.24 2.24%
1936 $103.73 1.46%
1937 $107.46 3.60%
1938 $105.22 -2.08%
1939 $103.73 -1.42%
1940 $104.48 0.72%
1941 $109.70 5.00%
1942 $121.64 10.88%
1943 $129.10 6.13%
1944 $131.34 1.73%
1945 $134.33 2.27%
1946 $145.52 8.33%
1947 $166.42 14.36%
1948 $179.85 8.07%
1949 $177.61 -1.24%
1950 $179.85 1.26%
1951 $194.03 7.88%
1952 $197.76 1.92%
1953 $199.25 0.75%
1954 $200.75 0.75%
1955 $200.00 -0.37%
1956 $202.99 1.49%
1957 $209.70 3.31%
1958 $215.67 2.85%
1959 $217.16 0.69%
1960 $220.90 1.72%
1961 $223.13 1.01%
1962 $225.37 1.00%
1963 $228.36 1.32%
1964 $231.34 1.31%
1965 $235.07 1.61%
1966 $241.79 2.86%
1967 $249.25 3.09%
1968 $259.70 4.19%
1969 $273.88 5.46%
1970 $289.55 5.72%
1971 $302.24 4.38%
1972 $311.94 3.21%
1973 $331.34 6.22%
1974 $367.91 11.04%
1975 $401.49 9.13%
1976 $424.63 5.76%
1977 $452.24 6.50%
1978 $486.57 7.59%
1979 $541.79 11.35%
1980 $614.93 13.50%
1981 $678.36 10.32%
1982 $720.15 6.16%
1983 $743.28 3.21%
1984 $775.37 4.32%
1985 $802.99 3.56%
1986 $817.91 1.86%
1987 $847.76 3.65%
1988 $882.84 4.14%
1989 $925.37 4.82%
1990 $975.37 5.40%
1991 $1,016.42 4.21%
1992 $1,047.01 3.01%
1993 $1,078.36 2.99%
1994 $1,105.97 2.56%
1995 $1,137.31 2.83%
1996 $1,170.90 2.95%
1997 $1,197.76 2.29%
1998 $1,216.42 1.56%
1999 $1,243.28 2.21%
2000 $1,285.07 3.36%
2001 $1,321.64 2.85%
2002 $1,342.54 1.58%
2003 $1,373.13 2.28%
2004 $1,409.70 2.66%
2005 $1,457.46 3.39%
2006 $1,504.48 3.23%
2007 $1,547.33 2.85%
2008 $1,606.74 3.84%
2009 $1,601.02 -0.36%
2010 $1,627.28 1.64%
2011 $1,678.65 3.16%
2012 $1,713.39 2.07%
2013 $1,738.49 1.46%
2014 $1,766.69 1.62%
2015 $1,768.78 0.12%
2016 $1,791.10 1.26%
2017 $1,826.76 1.99%
2018 $1,877.54 2.78%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

News headlines from 1934

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

  • American and Canadian prairies suffer during "The Great Dustbowl", a period of drought and severe dust storms.
  • John Dillinger becomes commonly known as America's first Public Enemy Number One.
  • Hitler brutally purges the leadership of the Nazi party in an event known as "Night of Long Knives".
  • The Assassination of Leningrad mayor Sergey Kirov is used as a pretext by Stalin to start the Great Purge of the Communist party.

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 1934 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 13 Jun. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1934.


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