£1 in 1945 is worth £44.27 today

Value of £1 from 1945 to 2021

£1 in 1945 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £44.27 today, an increase of £43.27 over 76 years. The pound had an average inflation rate of 5.11% per year between 1945 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 4,327.29%.

This means that today's prices are 44.27 times higher than average prices since 1945, according to the Office for National Statistics composite price index. A pound today only buys 2.26% of what it could buy back then.

The 1945 inflation rate was 2.75%. The current year-over-year inflation rate (2020 to 2021) is now 0.70%1. If this number holds, £1 today will be equivalent in buying power to £1.01 next year.


Inflation from 1945 to 2021
Cumulative price change 4,327.29%
Average inflation rate 5.11%
Converted amount (£1 base) £44.27
Price difference (£1 base) £43.27
CPI in 1945 26.200
CPI in 2021 1,159.951
Inflation in 1945 2.75%
Inflation in 2021 0.70%
£1 in 1945 £44.27 in 2021

GBP Inflation since 1750
Annual Rate, the Office for National Statistics CPI
Download

Buying power of £1 in 1945

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for £1 in 1945 (price index tracking began in 1750).

For example, if you started with £1, you would need to end with £44.27 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When £1 is equivalent to £44.27 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 1945 dollars, the chart below shows how £1 is worth less over 76 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: 1945-2021
Year Pound Value Inflation Rate
1945 £1.00 2.75%
1946 £1.03 3.05%
1947 £1.10 7.04%
1948 £1.19 7.61%
1949 £1.22 2.89%
1950 £1.26 3.13%
1951 £1.37 9.09%
1952 £1.50 9.17%
1953 £1.55 3.05%
1954 £1.58 1.98%
1955 £1.65 4.36%
1956 £1.73 5.10%
1957 £1.79 3.53%
1958 £1.85 3.20%
1959 £1.85 0.41%
1960 £1.87 1.03%
1961 £1.94 3.46%
1962 £2.02 4.33%
1963 £2.06 1.89%
1964 £2.13 3.33%
1965 £2.23 4.66%
1966 £2.32 3.94%
1967 £2.38 2.64%
1968 £2.49 4.65%
1969 £2.62 5.37%
1970 £2.79 6.40%
1971 £3.05 9.44%
1972 £3.27 7.13%
1973 £3.57 9.10%
1974 £4.14 16.04%
1975 £5.15 24.24%
1976 £6.00 16.54%
1977 £6.95 15.85%
1978 £7.52 8.30%
1979 £8.53 13.39%
1980 £10.06 17.99%
1981 £11.26 11.87%
1982 £12.23 8.61%
1983 £12.79 4.59%
1984 £13.43 4.98%
1985 £14.24 6.08%
1986 £14.73 3.40%
1987 £15.34 4.17%
1988 £16.10 4.90%
1989 £17.35 7.78%
1990 £18.99 9.46%
1991 £20.10 5.87%
1992 £20.85 3.74%
1993 £21.19 1.59%
1994 £21.70 2.41%
1995 £22.45 3.47%
1996 £22.99 2.41%
1997 £23.71 3.14%
1998 £24.53 3.43%
1999 £24.90 1.54%
2000 £25.64 2.96%
2001 £26.10 1.77%
2002 £26.53 1.67%
2003 £27.30 2.89%
2004 £28.11 2.98%
2005 £28.90 2.82%
2006 £29.83 3.20%
2007 £31.11 4.29%
2008 £32.35 3.99%
2009 £32.18 -0.53%
2010 £33.66 4.61%
2011 £35.41 5.20%
2012 £36.55 3.21%
2013 £37.66 3.04%
2014 £38.55 2.36%
2015 £38.93 0.99%
2016 £39.61 1.74%
2017 £41.03 3.58%
2018 £42.13 2.70%
2019 £43.19 2.50%
2020 £43.97 1.80%
2021 £44.27 0.70%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 70 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1945 amounts in today's pounds, based on the 4,327.29% change in prices:

Conversion: 1945 pounds today
Initial value Equivalent value
£1 pound in 1945 £44.27 pounds today
£5 pounds in 1945 £221.36 pounds today
£10 pounds in 1945 £442.73 pounds today
£50 pounds in 1945 £2,213.65 pounds today
£100 pounds in 1945 £4,427.29 pounds today
£500 pounds in 1945 £22,136.47 pounds today
£1,000 pounds in 1945 £44,272.94 pounds today
£5,000 pounds in 1945 £221,364.68 pounds today
£10,000 pounds in 1945 £442,729.37 pounds today
£50,000 pounds in 1945 £2,213,646.83 pounds today
£100,000 pounds in 1945 £4,427,293.66 pounds today
£500,000 pounds in 1945 £22,136,468.28 pounds today
£1,000,000 pounds in 1945 £44,272,936.56 pounds today

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for £1 since 1945

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1945 and today:

CPI today CPI in 1945
×
1945 GBP value
=
Today's value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.K. CPI was 26.2 in the year 1945 and 1159.950938 in 2021:

1159.95093826.2
×
£1
=
£44.27

£1 in 1945 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as £44.27 in 2021.

To get the total inflation rate for the 76 years between 1945 and 2021, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2021 - CPI in 1945CPI in 1945
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (76 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

1159.950938 - 26.226.2
×
100
=
4,327%

News headlines from 1945

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

  • The USSR captures Budapest from Germany in a battle that kills 159,000 people.
  • The US Fleet captures Iwo Jima.
  • 1,500 US Navy ships bomb Okinawa: the operation is believed to be the largest of World War II
  • Iwo Jima is occupied by America, costing 6,000 American lives and a further 18,000 Japanese lives.
  • Buchenwald, the first Nazi concentration camp, is liberated.

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 in 1945 → 2021 | UK Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 24 Sep. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/uk/inflation/1945?amount=1&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 1945 to 2021
Cumulative price change 4,327.29%
Average inflation rate 5.11%
Converted amount (£1 base) £44.27
Price difference (£1 base) £43.27
CPI in 1945 26.200
CPI in 2021 1,159.951
Inflation in 1945 2.75%
Inflation in 2021 0.70%
£1 in 1945 £44.27 in 2021