10 stories of hyperinflation in history | Personal Finance


In 2006, Zimbabwe experienced one of the most severe cases of hyperinflation in recorded history. The economy was unstable, with many of the country’s citizens unable to provide for their families. “[There] is barely enough to feed yourself, let alone your family. It’s like we are living hand-to-mouth,” a taxi driver told the BBC at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic crisis.

However, Zimbabwe’s financial woes aren’t unique to modern times. Periods of hyperinflation pepper the history of countries all over the world due to government overspending, wars, corruption, and the excessive printing of money until the paper itself is worth more than currency. This kind of economic devastation can lead to food shortages and rioting as hyperinflation can completely destabilize a nation. 

For context, hyperinflation is typically considered to be a rate of 50% or more each month, which was established by Phillip Cagan, an economist for America’s National Bureau of Economic Research, in 1956.

Using information from news articles as well as scientific and academic reports, Stacker pulled together 10 international instances in which countries experienced severe cases of hyperinflation that, at times, lasted for several years. Some of these countries are still feeling the impact of that economic devastation despite years, even decades, having passed. 

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