$12 in 1885 → $293.40 in 2017

Inflation Calculator

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1885-2017 ($12)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.45% per year. Prices in 2017 are 2345.0% higher than prices in 1885.

In other words, $12 in the year 1885 is equivalent in purchasing power to $293.40 in 2017, a difference of $281.40 over 132 years.

The inflation rate in 2017 was 1.99%.

Inflation from 1885 to 2017
Cumulative price change 2345.00%
Average inflation rate 2.45%
Price difference ($12 base) $281.40
CPI in 2017 244.786


U.S. inflation chart since 1665


Inflation rates for specific categories

New cars · Milk · Gasoline (all types) · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

News headlines from 1885

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

  • King Leopold II of Belgium makes Congo his own personal, colonial possession.
  • Congo is given to Belgium whilst Nigeria is awarded to Great Britain during the Berlin Conference
  • Bismarck, German chancellor, conquers Cameron and Togoland
  • Louis Pasteur conducts the first successful test of an anti-rabies vaccine
  • Gottlieb Daimler invents the first motorcycle.

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: “$12 in 1885 → 2017 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 24 May. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/1885-dollars-in-2017?amount=12.


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