Worst years in the history of Dow Jones Industrial Average index 1897-2019

There have been ups and downs in the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average index (DJIA). Some years brought as much as 30 percent of decrease in its value. Great Recession, however, took the largest toll on the Dow. In 1931, the index lost 52.67 percent of its value.

Index history

Dow Jones Industrial Average index (DJIA) is one of the most important stock market indices worldwide. It was created in 1896 by Charles Dow and Edward Jones. DJIA is the second oldest U.S. stock index after the Dow Jones Transportation Average, which was established in 1984.

Index components

DJIA reflects the performance of thirty large U.S. publicly traded companies. When the index was created, it was primarily composed of industrial companies, hence the index name. With time, the economic situation in the U.S. has changed and apart from industrial companies, which played a huge role in the market in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, also companies from other leading industries were incorporated into the index. At present, the DJIA index is composed of most renowned U.S. corporations, such as Coca Cola, Microsoft or Walt Disney.

Worst years of Dow Jones Industrial Average index from 1897 to 2019

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Release date

January 2020


United States

Survey time period

1897 to 2019

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