$100 in 1877 → $2,050.50 in 2008

Inflation Calculator

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U.S. Inflation Rate, $100 in 1877 to 2008

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2008 are 1,950.50% higher than prices in 1877. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.33% per year during this period.

In other words, $100 in 1877 is equivalent in purchasing power to $2,050.50 in 2008, a difference of $1,950.50 over 131 years.

The 1877 inflation rate was -1.87%. The inflation rate in 2008 was 3.84%. The 2008 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 1.59% per year between 2008 and 2018.


Inflation from 1877 to 2008
Cumulative price change 1,950.50%
Average inflation rate 2.33%
Converted amount ($100 base) $2,050.50
Price difference ($100 base) $1,950.50
CPI in 1877 10.500
CPI in 2008 215.303
Inflation in 1877 -1.87%
Inflation in 2008 3.84%


U.S. inflation chart since 1665


Buying power of $100 since 1877

This chart shows calculations of buying power equivalence over time for $100 in 1877 (price index tracking began in 1635).

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 USD Value Inflation Rate
1877 $100.00 -1.87%
1878 $95.24 -4.76%
1879 $95.24 0.00%
1880 $97.14 2.00%
1881 $97.14 0.00%
1882 $97.14 0.00%
1883 $96.19 -0.98%
1884 $93.33 -2.97%
1885 $92.38 -1.02%
1886 $89.52 -3.09%
1887 $90.48 1.06%
1888 $90.48 0.00%
1889 $87.62 -3.16%
1890 $86.67 -1.09%
1891 $86.67 0.00%
1892 $86.67 0.00%
1893 $85.71 -1.10%
1894 $81.90 -4.44%
1895 $80.00 -2.33%
1896 $80.00 0.00%
1897 $79.05 -1.19%
1898 $79.05 0.00%
1899 $79.05 0.00%
1900 $80.00 1.20%
1901 $80.95 1.19%
1902 $81.90 1.18%
1903 $83.81 2.33%
1904 $84.76 1.14%
1905 $83.81 -1.12%
1906 $85.71 2.27%
1907 $89.52 4.44%
1908 $87.62 -2.13%
1909 $86.67 -1.09%
1910 $90.48 4.40%
1911 $90.48 0.00%
1912 $92.38 2.11%
1913 $94.29 2.06%
1914 $95.24 1.01%
1915 $96.19 1.00%
1916 $103.81 7.92%
1917 $121.90 17.43%
1918 $143.81 17.97%
1919 $164.76 14.57%
1920 $190.48 15.61%
1921 $170.48 -10.50%
1922 $160.00 -6.15%
1923 $162.86 1.79%
1924 $162.86 0.00%
1925 $166.67 2.34%
1926 $168.57 1.14%
1927 $165.71 -1.69%
1928 $162.86 -1.72%
1929 $162.86 0.00%
1930 $159.05 -2.34%
1931 $144.76 -8.98%
1932 $130.48 -9.87%
1933 $123.81 -5.11%
1934 $127.62 3.08%
1935 $130.48 2.24%
1936 $132.38 1.46%
1937 $137.14 3.60%
1938 $134.29 -2.08%
1939 $132.38 -1.42%
1940 $133.33 0.72%
1941 $140.00 5.00%
1942 $155.24 10.88%
1943 $164.76 6.13%
1944 $167.62 1.73%
1945 $171.43 2.27%
1946 $185.71 8.33%
1947 $212.38 14.36%
1948 $229.52 8.07%
1949 $226.67 -1.24%
1950 $229.52 1.26%
1951 $247.62 7.88%
1952 $252.38 1.92%
1953 $254.29 0.75%
1954 $256.19 0.75%
1955 $255.24 -0.37%
1956 $259.05 1.49%
1957 $267.62 3.31%
1958 $275.24 2.85%
1959 $277.14 0.69%
1960 $281.90 1.72%
1961 $284.76 1.01%
1962 $287.62 1.00%
1963 $291.43 1.32%
1964 $295.24 1.31%
1965 $300.00 1.61%
1966 $308.57 2.86%
1967 $318.10 3.09%
1968 $331.43 4.19%
1969 $349.52 5.46%
1970 $369.52 5.72%
1971 $385.71 4.38%
1972 $398.10 3.21%
1973 $422.86 6.22%
1974 $469.52 11.04%
1975 $512.38 9.13%
1976 $541.90 5.76%
1977 $577.14 6.50%
1978 $620.95 7.59%
1979 $691.43 11.35%
1980 $784.76 13.50%
1981 $865.71 10.32%
1982 $919.05 6.16%
1983 $948.57 3.21%
1984 $989.52 4.32%
1985 $1,024.76 3.56%
1986 $1,043.81 1.86%
1987 $1,081.90 3.65%
1988 $1,126.67 4.14%
1989 $1,180.95 4.82%
1990 $1,244.76 5.40%
1991 $1,297.14 4.21%
1992 $1,336.19 3.01%
1993 $1,376.19 2.99%
1994 $1,411.43 2.56%
1995 $1,451.43 2.83%
1996 $1,494.29 2.95%
1997 $1,528.57 2.29%
1998 $1,552.38 1.56%
1999 $1,586.67 2.21%
2000 $1,640.00 3.36%
2001 $1,686.67 2.85%
2002 $1,713.33 1.58%
2003 $1,752.38 2.28%
2004 $1,799.05 2.66%
2005 $1,860.00 3.39%
2006 $1,920.00 3.23%
2007 $1,974.69 2.85%
2008 $2,050.50 3.84%
2009 $2,043.21 -0.36%
2010 $2,076.72 1.64%
2011 $2,142.28 3.16%
2012 $2,186.61 2.07%
2013 $2,218.64 1.46%
2014 $2,254.63 1.62%
2015 $2,257.30 0.12%
2016 $2,285.78 1.26%
2017 $2,334.48 2.13%
2018 $2,400.36 2.82%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £100.00 in 1877 would be equivalent to £8,737.11 in 2008, an absolute change of £8,637.11 and a cumulative change of 8,637.11%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $1,950.50 and total percent change of 1,950.50%.


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 1877 and 2008.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.33% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $100 in 1877 → 2008
Food 3.29 6,810.23 6,910.23
Shelter 4.44 29,696.15 29,796.15
Energy 4.81 47,191.70 47,291.70
Apparel 2.21 1,653.23 1,753.23
New vehicles 1.12 332.10 432.10
Used cars and trucks 0.73 159.25 259.25
Transportation services 3.59 9,994.46 10,094.46
Medical care services 5.40 98,208.97 98,308.97
Medical care commodities 4.71 41,326.25 41,426.25

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1877. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $100, 1877 to 2008

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2008CPI in 1877
×
1877 USD value
=
2008 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 10.5 in the year 1877 and 215.303 in 2008:

215.30310.5
×
$100
=
$2,050.50

$100 in 1877 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $2,050.50 in 2008.

To get the total inflation rate for the 131 years between 1877 and 2008, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2008 - CPI in 1877CPI in 1877
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (131 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

215.303 - 10.510.5
×
100
=
1,951%

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 2.33% has a compounding effect between 1877 and 2008. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 1,950.50% over 131 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $100 in the S&P 500 index in 1877, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $8,061,952.13 in 2008. This is a return on investment of 8,061,852.13%, with an absolute return of $8,061,852.13.

These numbers are not inflation adjusted, so they are considered nominal. In order to evaluate the real return on our investment, we must calculate the return with inflation taken into account.

The compounding effect of inflation would account for 95.12% of returns ($7,668,687.86) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $100 investment is $393,164.27.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1877-2008
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $100 $8,061,952.13 8,061,852.13%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$100 $393,164.27 393,164.27%


News headlines from 1877

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

  • Installation of the first telephone in Massachusetts.
  • Declaration of Russia's war on the Ottoman Empire, the conflict is known as Russo-Turkish war.
  • First human voice recording of Thomas Edison reciting "Mary had a little lamb".

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: “$100 in 1877 → 2008 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 19 Dec. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/1877-dollars-in-2008?amount=100.


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