U.S. inflation rate in 1948: 8.07%

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Inflation since 1948 and its effect on dollar value

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1948 was 24.1. It was 22.3 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 3.41% per year. Prices in 2018 are 943.9% higher than prices in 1948.

In other words, $100 in 1948 is equivalent in purchasing power to $1,043.94 in 2018, a difference of $943.94 over 70 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 1948 to 2018
Cumulative price change 943.94%
Average inflation rate 3.41%
Converted amount ($100 base) $1,043.94
Price difference ($100 base) $943.94
CPI in 1948 24.1
CPI in 2018 251.59


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2018


Inflation rates for specific categories

Fish and seafood · Fresh fruits · Juices and nonalcoholic drinks · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $100 since 1948

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1948 * 1948 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 24.1 in the year 1948 and 251.59 in 2018:

251.59 / 24.1 * $100 = $1,043.94

$100 in 1948 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1,043.94 in 2018.


Here are calculations of buying power over time for $100 in 1948 (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
1948 $100.00 8.07%
1949 $98.76 -1.24%
1950 $100.00 1.26%
1951 $107.88 7.88%
1952 $109.96 1.92%
1953 $110.79 0.75%
1954 $111.62 0.75%
1955 $111.20 -0.37%
1956 $112.86 1.49%
1957 $116.60 3.31%
1958 $119.92 2.85%
1959 $120.75 0.69%
1960 $122.82 1.72%
1961 $124.07 1.01%
1962 $125.31 1.00%
1963 $126.97 1.32%
1964 $128.63 1.31%
1965 $130.71 1.61%
1966 $134.44 2.86%
1967 $138.59 3.09%
1968 $144.40 4.19%
1969 $152.28 5.46%
1970 $161.00 5.72%
1971 $168.05 4.38%
1972 $173.44 3.21%
1973 $184.23 6.22%
1974 $204.56 11.04%
1975 $223.24 9.13%
1976 $236.10 5.76%
1977 $251.45 6.50%
1978 $270.54 7.59%
1979 $301.24 11.35%
1980 $341.91 13.50%
1981 $377.18 10.32%
1982 $400.41 6.16%
1983 $413.28 3.21%
1984 $431.12 4.32%
1985 $446.47 3.56%
1986 $454.77 1.86%
1987 $471.37 3.65%
1988 $490.87 4.14%
1989 $514.52 4.82%
1990 $542.32 5.40%
1991 $565.15 4.21%
1992 $582.16 3.01%
1993 $599.59 2.99%
1994 $614.94 2.56%
1995 $632.37 2.83%
1996 $651.04 2.95%
1997 $665.98 2.29%
1998 $676.35 1.56%
1999 $691.29 2.21%
2000 $714.52 3.36%
2001 $734.85 2.85%
2002 $746.47 1.58%
2003 $763.49 2.28%
2004 $783.82 2.66%
2005 $810.37 3.39%
2006 $836.51 3.23%
2007 $860.34 2.85%
2008 $893.37 3.84%
2009 $890.20 -0.36%
2010 $904.80 1.64%
2011 $933.36 3.16%
2012 $952.67 2.07%
2013 $966.63 1.46%
2014 $982.31 1.62%
2015 $983.47 0.12%
2016 $995.88 1.26%
2017 $1,015.71 1.99%
2018 $1,043.94 2.78%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

News headlines from 1948

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

  • Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated by Nathuram Godse.
  • Israel declares independence from British administration.
  • The International Declaration of Human Rights is adopted by United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
  • Moscow celebrates 500 years of the Russian Orthodox Church.
  • Physicists Alpher, Bethe, and Gamow propose the Big Bang theory in the ‘Physical Review’

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 1948 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 20 Jun. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1948.


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