$20 in 1800 → $375.61 in 2017

Inflation Calculator

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1800-2017 ($20)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 1.36% per year. Prices in 2017 are 1778.0% higher than prices in 1800.

In other words, $20 in the year 1800 is equivalent in purchasing power to $375.61 in 2017, a difference of $355.61 over 217 years.

The inflation rate in 2017 was 1.99%.

Inflation from 1800 to 2017
Cumulative price change 1778.05%
Average inflation rate 1.36%
Price difference ($20 base) $355.61
CPI in 2017 244.786


U.S. inflation chart since 1665


Inflation rates for specific categories

Film and photographic supplies · Alcoholic beverages · Medical care · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

S&P 500 price · S&P 500 earnings · Shiller P/E

News headlines from 1800

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

  • First session of Congress held at under-construction Capitol building in Washington D.C.
  • First cowpox vaccination (for smallpox prevention) in the United States. The vaccine was given by Dr Benjamin Waterhouse to his son.
  • The free African American community of Philadelphia submits its first petition to US Congress for the abolition of slavery.
  • Barnaba Niccoclo Maria Luigi Chiaramonti elected pope, taking the name Pope Pius VII.
  • A Smallpox vaccine is invented by Doctor Benjamin Waterhouse leading to the first immunization against the disease.
  • Congress holds its first session in the, at the time, still incomplete Capitol building in Washington D.C.
  • The French army defeats the Turks at Helipolis, after which they advanced on to Cairo.

Inflation Data Source

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: “$20 in 1800 → 2017 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 24 May. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/1800-dollars-in-2017?amount=20.


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