U.S. inflation rate in 1949: -1.24%

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Inflation since 1949 and its effect on dollar value

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1949 was 23.8. It was 24.1 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 3.48% per year. Prices in 2018 are 957.1% higher than prices in 1949.

In other words, $100 in 1949 is equivalent in purchasing power to $1,057.10 in 2018, a difference of $957.10 over 69 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 1949 to 2018
Cumulative price change 957.10%
Average inflation rate 3.48%
Converted amount ($100 base) $1,057.10
Price difference ($100 base) $957.10
CPI in 1949 23.8
CPI in 2018 251.59


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2018


Inflation rates for specific categories

Food · Bananas · New trucks · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $100 since 1949

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1949 * 1949 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 23.8 in the year 1949 and 251.59 in 2018:

251.59 / 23.8 * $100 = $1,057.10

$100 in 1949 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1,057.10 in 2018.


Here are calculations of buying power over time for $100 in 1949 (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
1949 $100.00 -1.24%
1950 $101.26 1.26%
1951 $109.24 7.88%
1952 $111.34 1.92%
1953 $112.18 0.75%
1954 $113.03 0.75%
1955 $112.61 -0.37%
1956 $114.29 1.49%
1957 $118.07 3.31%
1958 $121.43 2.85%
1959 $122.27 0.69%
1960 $124.37 1.72%
1961 $125.63 1.01%
1962 $126.89 1.00%
1963 $128.57 1.32%
1964 $130.25 1.31%
1965 $132.35 1.61%
1966 $136.13 2.86%
1967 $140.34 3.09%
1968 $146.22 4.19%
1969 $154.20 5.46%
1970 $163.03 5.72%
1971 $170.17 4.38%
1972 $175.63 3.21%
1973 $186.55 6.22%
1974 $207.14 11.04%
1975 $226.05 9.13%
1976 $239.08 5.76%
1977 $254.62 6.50%
1978 $273.95 7.59%
1979 $305.04 11.35%
1980 $346.22 13.50%
1981 $381.93 10.32%
1982 $405.46 6.16%
1983 $418.49 3.21%
1984 $436.55 4.32%
1985 $452.10 3.56%
1986 $460.50 1.86%
1987 $477.31 3.65%
1988 $497.06 4.14%
1989 $521.01 4.82%
1990 $549.16 5.40%
1991 $572.27 4.21%
1992 $589.50 3.01%
1993 $607.14 2.99%
1994 $622.69 2.56%
1995 $640.34 2.83%
1996 $659.24 2.95%
1997 $674.37 2.29%
1998 $684.87 1.56%
1999 $700.00 2.21%
2000 $723.53 3.36%
2001 $744.12 2.85%
2002 $755.88 1.58%
2003 $773.11 2.28%
2004 $793.70 2.66%
2005 $820.59 3.39%
2006 $847.06 3.23%
2007 $871.18 2.85%
2008 $904.63 3.84%
2009 $901.42 -0.36%
2010 $916.20 1.64%
2011 $945.12 3.16%
2012 $964.68 2.07%
2013 $978.81 1.46%
2014 $994.69 1.62%
2015 $995.87 0.12%
2016 $1,008.43 1.26%
2017 $1,028.51 1.99%
2018 $1,057.10 2.78%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

News headlines from 1949

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

  • David Ben-Gurion's Mapai party wins the first Israeli election.
  • The Federal Republic of Germany, or West Germany, is created by the combination of the American, British, and French occupation zones.
  • The Soviet Union ends the blockade of Berlin.
  • The People's Republic of China is proclaimed by Chinese Communist leaders.

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 1949 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 14 Jun. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1949.


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