$3 in 1860 → $86.86 in 2018

Inflation Calculator

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U.S. Inflation Rate, $3 in 1860 to 2018

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.15% per year. Prices in 2018 are 2795.3% higher than prices in 1860.

In other words, $3 in 1860 is equivalent in purchasing power to $86.86 in 2018, a difference of $83.86 over 158 years.

The current inflation rate is now 2.80%1. If this number holds, $3 today will be equivalent to $3.08 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.

Inflation from 1860 to 2018
Cumulative price change 2795.33%
Average inflation rate 2.15%
Converted amount ($3 base) $86.86
Price difference ($3 base) $83.86
CPI in 2018 251.59


U.S. inflation chart since 1665


The above data describe the CPI for all items. Also of note is U.S. "Core Inflation," which measures the CPI for all items except for the more volatile categories of food and energy. Core inflation averaged NaN% per year between 1860 and 2018. In 1860, core inflation was 0.00%.


Inflation rates for specific categories

Alcoholic beverages · Juices and nonalcoholic drinks · Women's apparel · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

Buying power of $3 since 1860

Below are calculations of buying power over time for $3 in 1860 (price index tracking began in 1913). Each of these USD amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year USD Value Inflation Rate
1860 $3.00 -
1861 $3.20 6.52%
1862 $3.65 14.29%
1863 $4.50 23.21%
1864 $5.67 26.09%
1865 $5.87 3.45%
1866 $5.74 -2.22%
1867 $5.35 -6.82%
1868 $5.09 -4.88%
1869 $4.89 -3.85%
1870 $4.70 -4.00%
1871 $4.37 -6.94%
1872 $4.37 0.00%
1873 $4.30 -1.49%
1874 $4.11 -4.55%
1875 $3.91 -4.76%
1876 $3.85 -1.67%
1877 $3.78 -1.69%
1878 $3.59 -5.17%
1879 $3.59 0.00%
1880 $3.72 3.64%
1881 $3.72 0.00%
1882 $3.72 0.00%
1883 $3.65 -1.75%
1884 $3.52 -3.57%
1885 $3.46 -1.85%
1886 $3.39 -1.89%
1887 $3.39 0.00%
1888 $3.39 0.00%
1889 $3.33 -1.92%
1890 $3.26 -1.96%
1891 $3.26 0.00%
1892 $3.26 0.00%
1893 $3.26 0.00%
1894 $3.07 -6.00%
1895 $3.07 0.00%
1896 $3.07 0.00%
1897 $3.00 -2.13%
1898 $3.00 0.00%
1899 $3.00 0.00%
1900 $3.07 2.17%
1901 $3.07 0.00%
1902 $3.07 0.00%
1903 $3.20 4.26%
1904 $3.20 0.00%
1905 $3.20 0.00%
1906 $3.26 2.04%
1907 $3.39 4.00%
1908 $3.33 -1.92%
1909 $3.26 -1.96%
1910 $3.39 4.00%
1911 $3.39 0.00%
1912 $3.46 1.92%
1913 $3.42 -1.06%
1914 $3.45 1.01%
1915 $3.49 1.00%
1916 $3.76 7.92%
1917 $4.42 17.43%
1918 $5.21 17.97%
1919 $5.97 14.57%
1920 $6.90 15.61%
1921 $6.18 -10.50%
1922 $5.80 -6.15%
1923 $5.90 1.79%
1924 $5.90 0.00%
1925 $6.04 2.34%
1926 $6.11 1.14%
1927 $6.01 -1.69%
1928 $5.90 -1.72%
1929 $5.90 0.00%
1930 $5.77 -2.34%
1931 $5.25 -8.98%
1932 $4.73 -9.87%
1933 $4.49 -5.11%
1934 $4.63 3.08%
1935 $4.73 2.24%
1936 $4.80 1.46%
1937 $4.97 3.60%
1938 $4.87 -2.08%
1939 $4.80 -1.42%
1940 $4.83 0.72%
1941 $5.08 5.00%
1942 $5.63 10.88%
1943 $5.97 6.13%
1944 $6.08 1.73%
1945 $6.21 2.27%
1946 $6.73 8.33%
1947 $7.70 14.36%
1948 $8.32 8.07%
1949 $8.22 -1.24%
1950 $8.32 1.26%
1951 $8.98 7.88%
1952 $9.15 1.92%
1953 $9.22 0.75%
1954 $9.29 0.75%
1955 $9.25 -0.37%
1956 $9.39 1.49%
1957 $9.70 3.31%
1958 $9.98 2.85%
1959 $10.05 0.69%
1960 $10.22 1.72%
1961 $10.32 1.01%
1962 $10.43 1.00%
1963 $10.56 1.32%
1964 $10.70 1.31%
1965 $10.88 1.61%
1966 $11.19 2.86%
1967 $11.53 3.09%
1968 $12.01 4.19%
1969 $12.67 5.46%
1970 $13.40 5.72%
1971 $13.98 4.38%
1972 $14.43 3.21%
1973 $15.33 6.22%
1974 $17.02 11.04%
1975 $18.57 9.13%
1976 $19.64 5.76%
1977 $20.92 6.50%
1978 $22.51 7.59%
1979 $25.07 11.35%
1980 $28.45 13.50%
1981 $31.38 10.32%
1982 $33.32 6.16%
1983 $34.39 3.21%
1984 $35.87 4.32%
1985 $37.15 3.56%
1986 $37.84 1.86%
1987 $39.22 3.65%
1988 $40.84 4.14%
1989 $42.81 4.82%
1990 $45.12 5.40%
1991 $47.02 4.21%
1992 $48.44 3.01%
1993 $49.89 2.99%
1994 $51.17 2.56%
1995 $52.62 2.83%
1996 $54.17 2.95%
1997 $55.41 2.29%
1998 $56.28 1.56%
1999 $57.52 2.21%
2000 $59.45 3.36%
2001 $61.14 2.85%
2002 $62.11 1.58%
2003 $63.53 2.28%
2004 $65.22 2.66%
2005 $67.43 3.39%
2006 $69.60 3.23%
2007 $71.58 2.85%
2008 $74.33 3.84%
2009 $74.07 -0.36%
2010 $75.28 1.64%
2011 $77.66 3.16%
2012 $79.27 2.07%
2013 $80.43 1.46%
2014 $81.73 1.62%
2015 $81.83 0.12%
2016 $82.86 1.26%
2017 $84.51 1.99%
2018 $86.86 2.78%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

News headlines from 1860

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

  • Abraham Lincoln becomes the 16th President of the U.S.
  • Slavery ends in the Dutch East Indies.

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: “$3 in 1860 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 23 Jun. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/1860-dollars?amount=3.


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