$1 in 1776 is worth $28.88 in 2018

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Value of $1 from 1776 to 2018

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2018 are 2,787.70% higher than average prices since 1776. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 1.40% per year during this period, causing the real value of a dollar to decrease.

In other words, $1 in 1776 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $28.88 in 2018, a difference of $27.88 over 242 years.

The 1776 inflation rate was 12.99%. The inflation rate in 2018 was 2.49%. The 2018 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 1.71% per year between 2018 and 2020.


Inflation from 1776 to 2018
Cumulative price change 2,787.70%
Average inflation rate 1.40%
Converted amount ($1 base) $28.88
Price difference ($1 base) $27.88
CPI in 1776 8.700
CPI in 2018 251.230
Inflation in 1776 12.99%
Inflation in 2018 2.49%

USD Inflation since 1635
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
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Buying power of $1 in 1776

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $1 in 1776 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $1, you would need to end with $28.88 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $1 is equivalent to $28.88 over time, that means that the "real value" of a single U.S. dollar decreases over time. In other words, a dollar will pay for fewer items at the store.

This effect explains how inflation erodes the value of a dollar over time. By calculating the value in 1776 dollars, the chart below shows how $1 is worth less over 242 years.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, each of these USD amounts below is equal in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Dollar inflation: 1776-2018
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1776 $1.00 12.99%
1777 $1.22 21.84%
1778 $1.59 30.19%
1779 $1.40 -11.59%
1780 $1.57 12.30%
1781 $1.28 -18.98%
1782 $1.39 9.01%
1783 $1.22 -12.40%
1784 $1.17 -3.77%
1785 $1.11 -4.90%
1786 $1.09 -2.06%
1787 $1.07 -2.11%
1788 $1.02 -4.30%
1789 $1.01 -1.12%
1790 $1.06 4.55%
1791 $1.08 2.17%
1792 $1.10 2.13%
1793 $1.14 3.13%
1794 $1.26 11.11%
1795 $1.45 14.55%
1796 $1.52 4.76%
1797 $1.46 -3.79%
1798 $1.41 -3.15%
1799 $1.41 0.00%
1800 $1.45 2.44%
1801 $1.46 0.79%
1802 $1.23 -15.75%
1803 $1.30 5.61%
1804 $1.36 4.42%
1805 $1.34 -0.85%
1806 $1.40 4.27%
1807 $1.33 -4.92%
1808 $1.45 8.62%
1809 $1.41 -2.38%
1810 $1.41 0.00%
1811 $1.51 6.50%
1812 $1.53 1.53%
1813 $1.84 20.30%
1814 $2.02 10.00%
1815 $1.77 -12.50%
1816 $1.62 -8.44%
1817 $1.53 -5.67%
1818 $1.46 -4.51%
1819 $1.46 0.00%
1820 $1.34 -7.87%
1821 $1.30 -3.42%
1822 $1.34 3.54%
1823 $1.21 -10.26%
1824 $1.11 -7.62%
1825 $1.14 2.06%
1826 $1.14 0.00%
1827 $1.15 1.01%
1828 $1.09 -5.00%
1829 $1.07 -2.11%
1830 $1.06 -1.08%
1831 $1.00 -5.43%
1832 $0.99 -1.15%
1833 $0.97 -2.33%
1834 $0.99 2.38%
1835 $1.01 2.33%
1836 $1.07 5.68%
1837 $1.10 3.23%
1838 $1.07 -3.12%
1839 $1.07 0.00%
1840 $1.00 -6.45%
1841 $1.00 0.00%
1842 $0.94 -5.75%
1843 $0.85 -9.76%
1844 $0.86 1.35%
1845 $0.87 1.33%
1846 $0.89 1.32%
1847 $0.94 6.49%
1848 $0.91 -3.66%
1849 $0.89 -2.53%
1850 $0.90 1.30%
1851 $0.89 -1.28%
1852 $0.89 0.00%
1853 $0.89 0.00%
1854 $0.97 9.09%
1855 $1.00 3.57%
1856 $0.98 -2.30%
1857 $1.00 2.35%
1858 $0.94 -5.75%
1859 $0.95 1.22%
1860 $0.95 0.00%
1861 $1.01 6.02%
1862 $1.16 14.77%
1863 $1.45 24.75%
1864 $1.80 24.60%
1865 $1.87 3.82%
1866 $1.83 -2.45%
1867 $1.70 -6.92%
1868 $1.63 -4.05%
1869 $1.56 -4.23%
1870 $1.51 -3.68%
1871 $1.40 -6.87%
1872 $1.40 0.00%
1873 $1.38 -1.64%
1874 $1.31 -5.00%
1875 $1.26 -3.51%
1876 $1.23 -2.73%
1877 $1.21 -1.87%
1878 $1.15 -4.76%
1879 $1.15 0.00%
1880 $1.17 2.00%
1881 $1.17 0.00%
1882 $1.17 0.00%
1883 $1.16 -0.98%
1884 $1.13 -2.97%
1885 $1.11 -1.02%
1886 $1.08 -3.09%
1887 $1.09 1.06%
1888 $1.09 0.00%
1889 $1.06 -3.16%
1890 $1.05 -1.09%
1891 $1.05 0.00%
1892 $1.05 0.00%
1893 $1.03 -1.10%
1894 $0.99 -4.44%
1895 $0.97 -2.33%
1896 $0.97 0.00%
1897 $0.95 -1.19%
1898 $0.95 0.00%
1899 $0.95 0.00%
1900 $0.97 1.20%
1901 $0.98 1.19%
1902 $0.99 1.18%
1903 $1.01 2.33%
1904 $1.02 1.14%
1905 $1.01 -1.12%
1906 $1.03 2.27%
1907 $1.08 4.44%
1908 $1.06 -2.13%
1909 $1.05 -1.09%
1910 $1.09 4.40%
1911 $1.09 0.00%
1912 $1.11 2.11%
1913 $1.14 2.06%
1914 $1.15 1.01%
1915 $1.16 1.00%
1916 $1.25 7.92%
1917 $1.47 17.43%
1918 $1.74 17.97%
1919 $1.99 14.57%
1920 $2.30 15.61%
1921 $2.06 -10.50%
1922 $1.93 -6.15%
1923 $1.97 1.79%
1924 $1.97 0.00%
1925 $2.01 2.34%
1926 $2.03 1.14%
1927 $2.00 -1.69%
1928 $1.97 -1.72%
1929 $1.97 0.00%
1930 $1.92 -2.34%
1931 $1.75 -8.98%
1932 $1.57 -9.87%
1933 $1.49 -5.11%
1934 $1.54 3.08%
1935 $1.57 2.24%
1936 $1.60 1.46%
1937 $1.66 3.60%
1938 $1.62 -2.08%
1939 $1.60 -1.42%
1940 $1.61 0.72%
1941 $1.69 5.00%
1942 $1.87 10.88%
1943 $1.99 6.13%
1944 $2.02 1.73%
1945 $2.07 2.27%
1946 $2.24 8.33%
1947 $2.56 14.36%
1948 $2.77 8.07%
1949 $2.74 -1.24%
1950 $2.77 1.26%
1951 $2.99 7.88%
1952 $3.05 1.92%
1953 $3.07 0.75%
1954 $3.09 0.75%
1955 $3.08 -0.37%
1956 $3.13 1.49%
1957 $3.23 3.31%
1958 $3.32 2.85%
1959 $3.34 0.69%
1960 $3.40 1.72%
1961 $3.44 1.01%
1962 $3.47 1.00%
1963 $3.52 1.32%
1964 $3.56 1.31%
1965 $3.62 1.61%
1966 $3.72 2.86%
1967 $3.84 3.09%
1968 $4.00 4.19%
1969 $4.22 5.46%
1970 $4.46 5.72%
1971 $4.66 4.38%
1972 $4.80 3.21%
1973 $5.10 6.22%
1974 $5.67 11.04%
1975 $6.18 9.13%
1976 $6.54 5.76%
1977 $6.97 6.50%
1978 $7.49 7.59%
1979 $8.34 11.35%
1980 $9.47 13.50%
1981 $10.45 10.32%
1982 $11.09 6.16%
1983 $11.45 3.21%
1984 $11.94 4.32%
1985 $12.37 3.56%
1986 $12.60 1.86%
1987 $13.06 3.65%
1988 $13.60 4.14%
1989 $14.25 4.82%
1990 $15.02 5.40%
1991 $15.66 4.21%
1992 $16.13 3.01%
1993 $16.61 2.99%
1994 $17.03 2.56%
1995 $17.52 2.83%
1996 $18.03 2.95%
1997 $18.45 2.29%
1998 $18.74 1.56%
1999 $19.15 2.21%
2000 $19.79 3.36%
2001 $20.36 2.85%
2002 $20.68 1.58%
2003 $21.15 2.28%
2004 $21.71 2.66%
2005 $22.45 3.39%
2006 $23.17 3.23%
2007 $23.83 2.85%
2008 $24.75 3.84%
2009 $24.66 -0.36%
2010 $25.06 1.64%
2011 $25.86 3.16%
2012 $26.39 2.07%
2013 $26.78 1.46%
2014 $27.21 1.62%
2015 $27.24 0.12%
2016 $27.59 1.26%
2017 $28.17 2.13%
2018 $28.88 2.49%
2019 $29.39 1.76%
2020 $29.88 1.67%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 236 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1776 amounts in 2018 dollars, based on the 2,787.70% change in prices:

Conversion Table: Value of a dollar in 2018
Initial value Equivalent value
$1 dollar in 1776 $28.88 dollars in 2018
$5 dollars in 1776 $144.39 dollars in 2018
$10 dollars in 1776 $288.77 dollars in 2018
$50 dollars in 1776 $1,443.85 dollars in 2018
$100 dollars in 1776 $2,887.70 dollars in 2018
$500 dollars in 1776 $14,438.51 dollars in 2018
$1,000 dollars in 1776 $28,877.01 dollars in 2018
$5,000 dollars in 1776 $144,385.06 dollars in 2018
$10,000 dollars in 1776 $288,770.11 dollars in 2018
$50,000 dollars in 1776 $1,443,850.57 dollars in 2018
$100,000 dollars in 1776 $2,887,701.15 dollars in 2018
$500,000 dollars in 1776 $14,438,505.75 dollars in 2018
$1,000,000 dollars in 1776 $28,877,011.49 dollars in 2018

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1776 would be equivalent to £159.65 in 2018, an absolute change of £158.65 and a cumulative change of 15,865.12%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $27.88 and total percent change of 2,787.70%.


Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. Breaking down these categories helps explain the main drivers behind price changes. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1776 and 2018.

Compare these values to the overall average of 1.40% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1 in 1776 → 2018
Food and beverages 3.96 1,201,190.86 12,012.91
Housing 4.26 2,423,436.48 24,235.36
Apparel 2.05 13,520.39 136.20
Transportation 3.30 259,987.01 2,600.87
Medical care 5.17 19,773,040.86 197,731.41
Recreation 1.09 1,274.61 13.75
Education and communication 1.89 9,277.78 93.78
Other goods and services 5.10 16,732,299.52 167,324.00

The graph below compares inflation in categories of goods over time. Click on a category such as "Food" to toggle it on or off:

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 1776. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1, 1776 to 2018

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1776 and 2018:

CPI in 2018 CPI in 1776
×
1776 USD value
=
2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 8.7 in the year 1776 and 251.23 in 2018:

251.238.7
×
$1
=
$28.88

$1 in 1776 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $28.88 in 2018.

To get the total inflation rate for the 242 years between 1776 and 2018, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2018 - CPI in 1776CPI in 1776
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (242 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

251.23 - 8.78.7
×
100
=
2,788%

News headlines from 1776

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

  • Austria outlaws interrogation and torture.
  • Thomas Paine issues Common Sense, a pamphlet advocating American independence.
  • 56 people formally sign the U.S. Declaration of Independence
  • The United States Congress officially releases the Declaration of Independence.
  • United States of America gets its official name
  • British troops capture Fort Washington.

Data Source & Citation

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: “$1 in 1776 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 25 Sep. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/1776-dollars-in-2018?amount=1.

Special thanks to QuickChart for their chart image API, which is used for chart downloads.


Ian Webster

About the author

Ian Webster is an engineer and data expert based in San Mateo, California. He has worked for Google, NASA, and consulted for governments around the world on data pipelines and data analysis. Disappointed by the lack of clear resources on the impacts of inflation on economic indicators, Ian believes this website serves as a valuable public tool. Ian earned his degree in Computer Science from Dartmouth College.

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» Read more about inflation and investment.

Inflation from 1776 to 2018
Cumulative price change 2,787.70%
Average inflation rate 1.40%
Converted amount ($1 base) $28.88
Price difference ($1 base) $27.88
CPI in 1776 8.700
CPI in 2018 251.230
Inflation in 1776 12.99%
Inflation in 2018 2.49%