How Much Inflation have we had since 1913?
Just like compound interest compound inflation grows faster and faster. The average annual inflation since 1913 is "only" 3.24%. See Average Annual Inflation Rates by Decade
But as you can see from the chart below compounding something for almost 100 years at 3.24% will result in over 2000% inflation. The Consumer Price index (CPI-U) for January 1913 was 9.8. The CPI-U for September 2013 was 234.149. This means that something that cost $9.80 in January of 1913 would cost $234.15 today!
Click Chart for Larger Image
If that isn't bad enough, actually the situation is even worse than that. If you look at the chart carefully you will see that inflation was fairly steep during the "teens" from 1913 - 1920 actually almost 100% (See: Total Inflation by Decade). Then during the 1920's and 1930's inflation actually declined. The CPI-U index stood at 13.9 in January of 1940.
So actually most of the 2000% inflation occurred since 1940. The average annual inflation rate in the 1940's was 4.86% in the 1970's it was 7.25% and the 1980's was 5.82%. Each of those decades were especially hard economically for people trying to make ends meet while prices increased and wages didn't keep up.
For more information and a chart see the average annual inflation rates for all decades since 1913.
|Average Annual Inflation by Decade||Total Inflation by Decade|
- Inflation and Consumer Price Index- Decade Commentary
- WWI – The beginning of the of the CPI the Inflationary period 1913 – 1919
- The “Roaring Twenties” Inflation and Deflation 1920-1929
- The Great Depression and the Deflationary 1930′s– 1930-1939
- World War II — the volatile 1940′s– High and Low Inflation 1940-1949
- The 1950′s “Happy Days”– Inflation and CPI 1950-1959
- The 1960′s the age of possibility– Low Inflation 1960-1969
- The Inflationary 1970's Inflation and CPI 1970-1979
- The Reagan Era Lower Inflation 1980-1989
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