$20,000 in 1878 → $480,396.55 in 2018

Inflation Calculator

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1878-2018 ($20,000)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.30% per year. Prices in 2018 are 2302.0% higher than prices in 1878.

In other words, $20,000 in the year 1878 is equivalent in purchasing power to $480,396.55 in 2018, a difference of $460,396.55 over 140 years.

Compared to last year's annual rate, the inflation rate in 2018 is now 1.95%1. If this number holds, $20,000 today would be equivalent to $20,389.56 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.

Inflation from 1878 to 2018
Cumulative price change 2301.98%
Average inflation rate 2.30%
Price difference ($20,000 base) $460,396.55
CPI in 2018 249.554


U.S. inflation chart since 1665


Inflation rates for specific categories

Wine at home · New trucks · Baby food · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

News headlines from 1878

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

  • Berlin Congress begins with goal to determine the territories of the states in the Balkans after the Russo-Turkish war.
  • King Leopold II's agent secretly meets Henry Morton Stanley.
  • Thomas Edison patents the gramophone.

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: “$20,000 in 1878 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 23 May. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/1878-dollars-in-2018?amount=20000.


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