Consumer Price Index, 1913-



The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) began collecting family expenditure data in 1917 and published its first price indexes for select cities in 1919. In 1921, the BLS published a national consumer price index (CPI), including estimates of the CPI back to 1913. The data and methods starting in 1913 are considered generally compatible through the present day; however, the Minneapolis Fed maintains a separate historical table that includes estimates prior to 1913.

The data below use 1983 as the index (1983=100). This chart uses data from the sole measure of CPI available until 1978, after which it reflects the CPI for all urban consumers (CPI-U). The current year’s inflation figures reflect the most recent quarterly data.

You can use the Minneapolis Fed’s inflation calculator to instantly compare the buying power of past and present dollars. However, you can also use the Annual Average CPI numbers below (center column) to make manual calculations. To find out how much a price in Year 1 would be in Year 2 dollars:

Publication Date: Date Accessed 10 June 2022

Publication Site: Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank