U.S. inflation rate in 1950: 1.26%

Inflation Calculator

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Inflation since 1950 and its effect on dollar value

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1950 was 24.1. It was 23.8 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 3.51% per year. Prices in 2018 are 943.9% higher than prices in 1950.

In other words, $100 in 1950 is equivalent in purchasing power to $1,043.94 in 2018, a difference of $943.94 over 68 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 1950 to 2018
Cumulative price change 943.94%
Average inflation rate 3.51%
Converted amount ($100 base) $1,043.94
Price difference ($100 base) $943.94
CPI in 1950 24.1
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 1950 and 2018. In 1950, core inflation was 0.00%.


Inflation rates for specific categories

Baby food · Jewelry · 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 1950

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1950 * 1950 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 24.1 in the year 1950 and 251.59 in 2018:

251.59 / 24.1 * $100 = $1,043.94

$100 in 1950 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1,043.94 in 2018.


Buying power of $100 since 1950

Below are calculations of buying power over time for $100 in 1950 (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
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 1950

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

  • Jerusalem is proclaimed the capital of Israel by Knesset
  • North Korea invades South Korea.
  • Harry Truman announces that America will seek to develop a hydrogen bomb.
  • Chinese forces occupy Tibet.

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 1950 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 23 Jun. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1950.


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