U.S. inflation rate in 1973: 6.22%

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Inflation since 1973 and its effect on dollar value

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1973 was 44.4. It was 41.8 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 3.93% per year. Prices in 2018 are 466.6% higher than prices in 1973.

In other words, $100 in 1973 is equivalent in purchasing power to $566.64 in 2018, a difference of $466.64 over 45 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 1973 to 2018
Cumulative price change 466.64%
Average inflation rate 3.93%
Converted amount ($100 base) $566.64
Price difference ($100 base) $466.64
CPI in 1973 44.4
CPI in 2018 251.59


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2018


Inflation rates for specific categories

Wireless telephone services · Electricity · Gasoline (all types) · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $100 since 1973

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1973 * 1973 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 44.4 in the year 1973 and 251.59 in 2018:

251.59 / 44.4 * $100 = $566.64

$100 in 1973 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $566.64 in 2018.


Here are calculations of buying power over time for $100 in 1973 (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
1973 $100.00 6.22%
1974 $111.04 11.04%
1975 $121.17 9.13%
1976 $128.15 5.76%
1977 $136.49 6.50%
1978 $146.85 7.59%
1979 $163.51 11.35%
1980 $185.59 13.50%
1981 $204.73 10.32%
1982 $217.34 6.16%
1983 $224.32 3.21%
1984 $234.01 4.32%
1985 $242.34 3.56%
1986 $246.85 1.86%
1987 $255.86 3.65%
1988 $266.44 4.14%
1989 $279.28 4.82%
1990 $294.37 5.40%
1991 $306.76 4.21%
1992 $315.99 3.01%
1993 $325.45 2.99%
1994 $333.78 2.56%
1995 $343.24 2.83%
1996 $353.38 2.95%
1997 $361.49 2.29%
1998 $367.12 1.56%
1999 $375.23 2.21%
2000 $387.84 3.36%
2001 $398.87 2.85%
2002 $405.18 1.58%
2003 $414.41 2.28%
2004 $425.45 2.66%
2005 $439.86 3.39%
2006 $454.05 3.23%
2007 $466.99 2.85%
2008 $484.92 3.84%
2009 $483.19 -0.36%
2010 $491.12 1.64%
2011 $506.62 3.16%
2012 $517.10 2.07%
2013 $524.68 1.46%
2014 $533.19 1.62%
2015 $533.82 0.12%
2016 $540.56 1.26%
2017 $551.32 1.99%
2018 $566.64 2.78%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

News headlines from 1973

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

  • President Richard Nixon announces the end of the Vietnam War.
  • The longest war in American history finishes after William Rogers and Nguyen Duy Trinh of US and North Vietnam's army sign a cease-fire.
  • The IRA attacks London for the first time following the arrests of 10 of its members.
  • The Senate Watergate Committee begins its hearings.

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 1973 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 15 Jun. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1973.


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