U.S. inflation rate in 1946: 8.33%

Inflation Calculator

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Inflation since 1946 and its effect on dollar value

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1946 was 19.5. It was 18 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 3.62% per year. Prices in 2018 are 1190.2% higher than prices in 1946.

In other words, $100 in 1946 is equivalent in purchasing power to $1,290.21 in 2018, a difference of $1,190.21 over 72 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 1946 to 2018
Cumulative price change 1190.21%
Average inflation rate 3.62%
Converted amount ($100 base) $1,290.21
Price difference ($100 base) $1,190.21
CPI in 1946 19.5
CPI in 2018 251.59


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2018


Inflation rates for specific categories

Housing · New trucks · Educational books and supplies · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $100 since 1946

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1946 * 1946 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 19.5 in the year 1946 and 251.59 in 2018:

251.59 / 19.5 * $100 = $1,290.21

$100 in 1946 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1,290.21 in 2018.


Here are calculations of buying power over time for $100 in 1946 (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
1946 $100.00 8.33%
1947 $114.36 14.36%
1948 $123.59 8.07%
1949 $122.05 -1.24%
1950 $123.59 1.26%
1951 $133.33 7.88%
1952 $135.90 1.92%
1953 $136.92 0.75%
1954 $137.95 0.75%
1955 $137.44 -0.37%
1956 $139.49 1.49%
1957 $144.10 3.31%
1958 $148.21 2.85%
1959 $149.23 0.69%
1960 $151.79 1.72%
1961 $153.33 1.01%
1962 $154.87 1.00%
1963 $156.92 1.32%
1964 $158.97 1.31%
1965 $161.54 1.61%
1966 $166.15 2.86%
1967 $171.28 3.09%
1968 $178.46 4.19%
1969 $188.21 5.46%
1970 $198.97 5.72%
1971 $207.69 4.38%
1972 $214.36 3.21%
1973 $227.69 6.22%
1974 $252.82 11.04%
1975 $275.90 9.13%
1976 $291.79 5.76%
1977 $310.77 6.50%
1978 $334.36 7.59%
1979 $372.31 11.35%
1980 $422.56 13.50%
1981 $466.15 10.32%
1982 $494.87 6.16%
1983 $510.77 3.21%
1984 $532.82 4.32%
1985 $551.79 3.56%
1986 $562.05 1.86%
1987 $582.56 3.65%
1988 $606.67 4.14%
1989 $635.90 4.82%
1990 $670.26 5.40%
1991 $698.46 4.21%
1992 $719.49 3.01%
1993 $741.03 2.99%
1994 $760.00 2.56%
1995 $781.54 2.83%
1996 $804.62 2.95%
1997 $823.08 2.29%
1998 $835.90 1.56%
1999 $854.36 2.21%
2000 $883.08 3.36%
2001 $908.21 2.85%
2002 $922.56 1.58%
2003 $943.59 2.28%
2004 $968.72 2.66%
2005 $1,001.54 3.39%
2006 $1,033.85 3.23%
2007 $1,063.29 2.85%
2008 $1,104.12 3.84%
2009 $1,100.19 -0.36%
2010 $1,118.24 1.64%
2011 $1,153.53 3.16%
2012 $1,177.41 2.07%
2013 $1,194.65 1.46%
2014 $1,214.03 1.62%
2015 $1,215.47 0.12%
2016 $1,230.81 1.26%
2017 $1,255.31 1.99%
2018 $1,290.21 2.78%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

News headlines from 1946

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

  • The United Nations General Assembly meets for the first time in London.
  • President Harry Truman sets up the Central Intelligence Agency or CIA.
  • The US State Department releases the Acheson-Lilenthal Report outlining a plan for how the US can limit nuclear power internationally, marking the beginning of Cold War.
  • Twenty-two Nazi leaders found guilty of war crimes during the Nuremburg trials.

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 1946 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 15 Jun. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1946.


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