\$1 in 1847 → \$31.18 in 2019

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👉 You may be interested in \$1 in 1847 → 2020

U.S. Inflation Rate, \$1 from 1847 to 2019

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2019 are 3,017.77% higher than average prices since 1847. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.02% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, \$1 in 1847 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$31.18 in 2019, a difference of \$30.18 over 172 years.

The 1847 inflation rate was 6.49%. The inflation rate in 2019 was 1.76%. The 2019 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 0.90% per year between 2019 and 2020.

 Cumulative price change 3,017.77% Average inflation rate 2.02% Converted amount (\$1 base) \$31.18 Price difference (\$1 base) \$30.18 CPI in 1847 8.200 CPI in 2019 255.658 Inflation in 1847 6.49% Inflation in 2019 1.76%

USD Inflation since 1635
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

Buying power of \$1 in 1847

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$1 in 1847 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$1, you would need to end with \$31.18 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When \$1 is equivalent to \$31.18 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 1847 dollars, the chart below shows how \$1 buys less over the past 172 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:

Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1847 \$1.00 6.49%
1848 \$0.96 -3.66%
1849 \$0.94 -2.53%
1850 \$0.95 1.30%
1851 \$0.94 -1.28%
1852 \$0.94 0.00%
1853 \$0.94 0.00%
1854 \$1.02 9.09%
1855 \$1.06 3.57%
1856 \$1.04 -2.30%
1857 \$1.06 2.35%
1858 \$1.00 -5.75%
1859 \$1.01 1.22%
1860 \$1.01 0.00%
1861 \$1.07 6.02%
1862 \$1.23 14.77%
1863 \$1.54 24.75%
1864 \$1.91 24.60%
1865 \$1.99 3.82%
1866 \$1.94 -2.45%
1867 \$1.80 -6.92%
1868 \$1.73 -4.05%
1869 \$1.66 -4.23%
1870 \$1.60 -3.68%
1871 \$1.49 -6.87%
1872 \$1.49 0.00%
1873 \$1.46 -1.64%
1874 \$1.39 -5.00%
1875 \$1.34 -3.51%
1876 \$1.30 -2.73%
1877 \$1.28 -1.87%
1878 \$1.22 -4.76%
1879 \$1.22 0.00%
1880 \$1.24 2.00%
1881 \$1.24 0.00%
1882 \$1.24 0.00%
1883 \$1.23 -0.98%
1884 \$1.20 -2.97%
1885 \$1.18 -1.02%
1886 \$1.15 -3.09%
1887 \$1.16 1.06%
1888 \$1.16 0.00%
1889 \$1.12 -3.16%
1890 \$1.11 -1.09%
1891 \$1.11 0.00%
1892 \$1.11 0.00%
1893 \$1.10 -1.10%
1894 \$1.05 -4.44%
1895 \$1.02 -2.33%
1896 \$1.02 0.00%
1897 \$1.01 -1.19%
1898 \$1.01 0.00%
1899 \$1.01 0.00%
1900 \$1.02 1.20%
1901 \$1.04 1.19%
1902 \$1.05 1.18%
1903 \$1.07 2.33%
1904 \$1.09 1.14%
1905 \$1.07 -1.12%
1906 \$1.10 2.27%
1907 \$1.15 4.44%
1908 \$1.12 -2.13%
1909 \$1.11 -1.09%
1910 \$1.16 4.40%
1911 \$1.16 0.00%
1912 \$1.18 2.11%
1913 \$1.21 2.06%
1914 \$1.22 1.01%
1915 \$1.23 1.00%
1916 \$1.33 7.92%
1917 \$1.56 17.43%
1918 \$1.84 17.97%
1919 \$2.11 14.57%
1920 \$2.44 15.61%
1921 \$2.18 -10.50%
1922 \$2.05 -6.15%
1923 \$2.09 1.79%
1924 \$2.09 0.00%
1925 \$2.13 2.34%
1926 \$2.16 1.14%
1927 \$2.12 -1.69%
1928 \$2.09 -1.72%
1929 \$2.09 0.00%
1930 \$2.04 -2.34%
1931 \$1.85 -8.98%
1932 \$1.67 -9.87%
1933 \$1.59 -5.11%
1934 \$1.63 3.08%
1935 \$1.67 2.24%
1936 \$1.70 1.46%
1937 \$1.76 3.60%
1938 \$1.72 -2.08%
1939 \$1.70 -1.42%
1940 \$1.71 0.72%
1941 \$1.79 5.00%
1942 \$1.99 10.88%
1943 \$2.11 6.13%
1944 \$2.15 1.73%
1945 \$2.20 2.27%
1946 \$2.38 8.33%
1947 \$2.72 14.36%
1948 \$2.94 8.07%
1949 \$2.90 -1.24%
1950 \$2.94 1.26%
1951 \$3.17 7.88%
1952 \$3.23 1.92%
1953 \$3.26 0.75%
1954 \$3.28 0.75%
1955 \$3.27 -0.37%
1956 \$3.32 1.49%
1957 \$3.43 3.31%
1958 \$3.52 2.85%
1959 \$3.55 0.69%
1960 \$3.61 1.72%
1961 \$3.65 1.01%
1962 \$3.68 1.00%
1963 \$3.73 1.32%
1964 \$3.78 1.31%
1965 \$3.84 1.61%
1966 \$3.95 2.86%
1967 \$4.07 3.09%
1968 \$4.24 4.19%
1969 \$4.48 5.46%
1970 \$4.73 5.72%
1971 \$4.94 4.38%
1972 \$5.10 3.21%
1973 \$5.41 6.22%
1974 \$6.01 11.04%
1975 \$6.56 9.13%
1976 \$6.94 5.76%
1977 \$7.39 6.50%
1978 \$7.95 7.59%
1979 \$8.85 11.35%
1980 \$10.05 13.50%
1981 \$11.09 10.32%
1982 \$11.77 6.16%
1983 \$12.15 3.21%
1984 \$12.67 4.32%
1985 \$13.12 3.56%
1986 \$13.37 1.86%
1987 \$13.85 3.65%
1988 \$14.43 4.14%
1989 \$15.12 4.82%
1990 \$15.94 5.40%
1991 \$16.61 4.21%
1992 \$17.11 3.01%
1993 \$17.62 2.99%
1994 \$18.07 2.56%
1995 \$18.59 2.83%
1996 \$19.13 2.95%
1997 \$19.57 2.29%
1998 \$19.88 1.56%
1999 \$20.32 2.21%
2000 \$21.00 3.36%
2001 \$21.60 2.85%
2002 \$21.94 1.58%
2003 \$22.44 2.28%
2004 \$23.04 2.66%
2005 \$23.82 3.39%
2006 \$24.59 3.23%
2007 \$25.29 2.85%
2008 \$26.26 3.84%
2009 \$26.16 -0.36%
2010 \$26.59 1.64%
2011 \$27.43 3.16%
2012 \$28.00 2.07%
2013 \$28.41 1.46%
2014 \$28.87 1.62%
2015 \$28.90 0.12%
2016 \$29.27 1.26%
2017 \$29.89 2.13%
2018 \$30.64 2.49%
2019 \$31.18 1.76%
2020 \$31.46 0.90%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 166 more rows

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1847 would be equivalent to £102.88 in 2019, an absolute change of £101.88 and a cumulative change of 10,188.28%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$30.18 and total percent change of 3,017.77%.

Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1847 and 2019.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.02% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$1 in 1847 → 2019
Food and beverages 3.92 74,036.02 741.36
Housing 4.23 124,987.18 1,250.87
Apparel 2.02 3,015.34 31.15
Transportation 3.26 24,780.65 248.81
Medical care 5.14 550,475.27 5,505.75
Recreation 1.10 552.29 6.52
Education and communication 1.85 2,237.62 23.38
Other goods and services 5.04 467,693.84 4,677.94

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 1847. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$1, 1847 to 2019

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2019CPI in 1847
×
1847 USD value
=
2019 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 8.2 in the year 1847 and 255.6575 in 2019:

255.65758.2
×
\$1
=
\$31.18

\$1 in 1847 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$31.18 in 2019.

To get the total inflation rate for the 172 years between 1847 and 2019, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2019 - CPI in 1847CPI in 1847
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (172 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

255.6575 - 8.28.2
×
100
=
3,018%

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

• The US Government purchases Samuel Colt's revolver pistol for the first time.
• Mexico City is captured by United States General Winfield Scott during the Mexican-American War

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 1847 → 2019 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 20 Feb. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/1847-dollars-in-2019?amount=1.