£1,600 in 1885 is worth £210,900.17 today

Value of £1,600 from 1885 to 2021

£1,600 in 1885 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £210,900.17 today, an increase of £209,300.17 over 136 years. The pound had an average inflation rate of 3.65% per year between 1885 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 13,081.26%.

This means that today's prices are 131.81 times higher than average prices since 1885, according to the Office for National Statistics composite price index. A pound today only buys 0.76% of what it could buy back then.

The 1885 inflation rate was -3.30%. The current year-over-year inflation rate (2020 to 2021) is now 0.70%1. If this number holds, £1,600 today will be equivalent in buying power to £1,611.20 next year.


Inflation from 1885 to 2021
Cumulative price change 13,081.26%
Average inflation rate 3.65%
Converted amount (£1,600 base) £210,900.17
Price difference (£1,600 base) £209,300.17
CPI in 1885 8.800
CPI in 2021 1,159.951
Inflation in 1885 -3.30%
Inflation in 2021 0.70%
£1,600 in 1885 £210,900.17 in 2021

GBP Inflation since 1750
Annual Rate, the Office for National Statistics CPI
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Buying power of £1,600 in 1885

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for £1,600 in 1885 (price index tracking began in 1750).

For example, if you started with £1,600, you would need to end with £210,900.17 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When £1,600 is equivalent to £210,900.17 over time, that means that the "real value" of a single U.K. pound decreases over time. In other words, a pound will pay for fewer items at the store.

This effect explains how inflation erodes the value of a pound over time. By calculating the value in 1885 dollars, the chart below shows how £1,600 is worth less over 136 years.

According to the Office for National Statistics, each of these GBP amounts below is equal in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Pound inflation: 1885-2021
Year Pound Value Inflation Rate
1885 £1,600.00 -3.30%
1886 £1,581.82 -1.14%
1887 £1,563.64 -1.15%
1888 £1,581.82 1.16%
1889 £1,600.00 1.15%
1890 £1,600.00 0.00%
1891 £1,618.18 1.14%
1892 £1,618.18 0.00%
1893 £1,600.00 -1.12%
1894 £1,581.82 -1.14%
1895 £1,563.64 -1.15%
1896 £1,545.45 -1.16%
1897 £1,581.82 2.35%
1898 £1,581.82 0.00%
1899 £1,600.00 1.15%
1900 £1,672.73 4.55%
1901 £1,672.73 0.00%
1902 £1,672.73 0.00%
1903 £1,690.91 1.09%
1904 £1,690.91 0.00%
1905 £1,690.91 0.00%
1906 £1,690.91 0.00%
1907 £1,709.09 1.08%
1908 £1,709.09 0.00%
1909 £1,727.27 1.06%
1910 £1,745.45 1.05%
1911 £1,745.45 0.00%
1912 £1,800.00 3.13%
1913 £1,781.82 -1.01%
1914 £1,781.82 0.00%
1915 £2,000.00 12.24%
1916 £2,363.64 18.18%
1917 £2,963.64 25.38%
1918 £3,618.18 22.09%
1919 £3,981.82 10.05%
1920 £4,600.00 15.53%
1921 £4,200.00 -8.70%
1922 £3,618.18 -13.85%
1923 £3,400.00 -6.03%
1924 £3,381.82 -0.53%
1925 £3,381.82 0.00%
1926 £3,363.64 -0.54%
1927 £3,272.73 -2.70%
1928 £3,272.73 0.00%
1929 £3,236.36 -1.11%
1930 £3,145.45 -2.81%
1931 £3,018.18 -4.05%
1932 £2,945.45 -2.41%
1933 £2,872.73 -2.47%
1934 £2,872.73 0.00%
1935 £2,890.91 0.63%
1936 £2,909.09 0.63%
1937 £3,018.18 3.75%
1938 £3,054.55 1.20%
1939 £3,145.45 2.98%
1940 £3,672.73 16.76%
1941 £4,072.73 10.89%
1942 £4,363.64 7.14%
1943 £4,509.09 3.33%
1944 £4,636.36 2.82%
1945 £4,763.64 2.75%
1946 £4,909.09 3.05%
1947 £5,254.55 7.04%
1948 £5,654.55 7.61%
1949 £5,818.18 2.89%
1950 £6,000.00 3.13%
1951 £6,545.45 9.09%
1952 £7,145.45 9.17%
1953 £7,363.64 3.05%
1954 £7,509.09 1.98%
1955 £7,836.36 4.36%
1956 £8,236.36 5.10%
1957 £8,527.27 3.53%
1958 £8,800.00 3.20%
1959 £8,836.36 0.41%
1960 £8,927.27 1.03%
1961 £9,236.36 3.46%
1962 £9,636.36 4.33%
1963 £9,818.18 1.89%
1964 £10,145.45 3.33%
1965 £10,618.18 4.66%
1966 £11,036.36 3.94%
1967 £11,327.27 2.64%
1968 £11,854.55 4.65%
1969 £12,490.91 5.37%
1970 £13,290.91 6.40%
1971 £14,545.45 9.44%
1972 £15,581.82 7.13%
1973 £17,000.00 9.10%
1974 £19,727.27 16.04%
1975 £24,509.09 24.24%
1976 £28,563.64 16.54%
1977 £33,090.91 15.85%
1978 £35,836.36 8.30%
1979 £40,636.36 13.39%
1980 £47,945.45 17.99%
1981 £53,636.36 11.87%
1982 £58,254.55 8.61%
1983 £60,927.27 4.59%
1984 £63,963.64 4.98%
1985 £67,854.55 6.08%
1986 £70,163.64 3.40%
1987 £73,090.91 4.17%
1988 £76,672.73 4.90%
1989 £82,636.36 7.78%
1990 £90,454.55 9.46%
1991 £95,763.64 5.87%
1992 £99,345.45 3.74%
1993 £100,927.27 1.59%
1994 £103,363.64 2.41%
1995 £106,945.45 3.47%
1996 £109,527.27 2.41%
1997 £112,963.64 3.14%
1998 £116,836.36 3.43%
1999 £118,636.36 1.54%
2000 £122,145.45 2.96%
2001 £124,309.09 1.77%
2002 £126,381.82 1.67%
2003 £130,036.36 2.89%
2004 £133,909.09 2.98%
2005 £137,690.91 2.82%
2006 £142,090.91 3.20%
2007 £148,181.82 4.29%
2008 £154,090.91 3.99%
2009 £153,272.73 -0.53%
2010 £160,345.45 4.61%
2011 £168,690.91 5.20%
2012 £174,109.09 3.21%
2013 £179,400.00 3.04%
2014 £183,636.36 2.36%
2015 £185,454.55 0.99%
2016 £188,672.73 1.74%
2017 £195,436.36 3.58%
2018 £200,713.15 2.70%
2019 £205,730.97 2.50%
2020 £209,434.13 1.80%
2021 £210,900.17 0.70%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 130 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1885 amounts in today's pounds, based on the 13,081.26% change in prices:

Conversion: 1885 pounds today
Initial value Equivalent value
£1 pound in 1885 £131.81 pounds today
£5 pounds in 1885 £659.06 pounds today
£10 pounds in 1885 £1,318.13 pounds today
£50 pounds in 1885 £6,590.63 pounds today
£100 pounds in 1885 £13,181.26 pounds today
£500 pounds in 1885 £65,906.30 pounds today
£1,000 pounds in 1885 £131,812.61 pounds today
£5,000 pounds in 1885 £659,063.03 pounds today
£10,000 pounds in 1885 £1,318,126.07 pounds today
£50,000 pounds in 1885 £6,590,630.33 pounds today
£100,000 pounds in 1885 £13,181,260.66 pounds today
£500,000 pounds in 1885 £65,906,303.30 pounds today
£1,000,000 pounds in 1885 £131,812,606.59 pounds today

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for £1,600 since 1885

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1885 and today:

CPI today CPI in 1885
×
1885 GBP value
=
Today's value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.K. CPI was 8.8 in the year 1885 and 1159.950938 in 2021:

1159.9509388.8
×
£1,600
=
£210,900.17

£1,600 in 1885 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as £210,900.17 in 2021.

To get the total inflation rate for the 136 years between 1885 and 2021, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2021 - CPI in 1885CPI in 1885
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (136 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

1159.950938 - 8.88.8
×
100
=
13,081%

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.

Data Source & Citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the composite price index published by the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS). A composite index is created by combining price data from several different published sources, both official and unofficial. The Consumer Price Index, normally used to compute inflation, has only been tracked since 1988. All inflation calculations after 1988 use the Office for National Statistics' Consumer Price Index, except for 2017, which is based on The Bank of England's forecast.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “£1,600 in 1885 → 2021 | UK Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 28 Oct. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/uk/inflation/1885?amount=1600&endYear=2021.

Special thanks to QuickChart for their chart image API, which is used for chart downloads.


Ian Webster

About the author

Ian Webster is an engineer and data expert based in San Mateo, California. He has worked for Google, NASA, and consulted for governments around the world on data pipelines and data analysis. Disappointed by the lack of clear resources on the impacts of inflation on economic indicators, Ian believes this website serves as a valuable public tool. Ian earned his degree in Computer Science from Dartmouth College.

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» Read more about inflation and investment.

Inflation from 1885 to 2021
Cumulative price change 13,081.26%
Average inflation rate 3.65%
Converted amount (£1,600 base) £210,900.17
Price difference (£1,600 base) £209,300.17
CPI in 1885 8.800
CPI in 2021 1,159.951
Inflation in 1885 -3.30%
Inflation in 2021 0.70%
£1,600 in 1885 £210,900.17 in 2021