$500 in 1775 is worth $17,595.47 in 2021

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Value of $500 from 1775 to 2021

$500 in 1775 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $17,595.47 in 2021, an increase of $17,095.47 over 246 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 1.46% per year between 1775 and 2021, producing a cumulative price increase of 3,419.09%.

This means that prices in 2021 are 35.19 times higher than average prices since 1775, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The inflation rate in 1775 was -4.94%. The inflation rate in 2021 was 4.70%. The 2021 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 2.89% per year between 2021 and 2022.


Inflation from 1775 to 2021
Cumulative price change 3,419.09%
Average inflation rate 1.46%
Converted amount ($500 base) $17,595.47
Price difference ($500 base) $17,095.47
CPI in 1775 7.700
CPI in 2021 270.970
Inflation in 1775 -4.94%
Inflation in 2021 4.70%
$500 in 1775 $17,595.47 in 2021

USD Inflation since 1635
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
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Buying power of $500 in 1775

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $500 in 1775 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $500, you would need to end with $17,595.47 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $500 is equivalent to $17,595.47 over time, that means that the "real value" of a single U.S. dollar decreases over time. In other words, a dollar will pay for fewer items at the store.

This effect explains how inflation erodes the value of a dollar over time. By calculating the value in 1775 dollars, the chart below shows how $500 is worth less over 246 years.

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:

Dollar inflation: 1775-2021
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1775 $500.00 -4.94%
1776 $564.94 12.99%
1777 $688.31 21.84%
1778 $896.10 30.19%
1779 $792.21 -11.59%
1780 $889.61 12.30%
1781 $720.78 -18.98%
1782 $785.71 9.01%
1783 $688.31 -12.40%
1784 $662.34 -3.77%
1785 $629.87 -4.90%
1786 $616.88 -2.06%
1787 $603.90 -2.11%
1788 $577.92 -4.30%
1789 $571.43 -1.12%
1790 $597.40 4.55%
1791 $610.39 2.17%
1792 $623.38 2.13%
1793 $642.86 3.13%
1794 $714.29 11.11%
1795 $818.18 14.55%
1796 $857.14 4.76%
1797 $824.68 -3.79%
1798 $798.70 -3.15%
1799 $798.70 0.00%
1800 $818.18 2.44%
1801 $824.68 0.79%
1802 $694.81 -15.75%
1803 $733.77 5.61%
1804 $766.23 4.42%
1805 $759.74 -0.85%
1806 $792.21 4.27%
1807 $753.25 -4.92%
1808 $818.18 8.62%
1809 $798.70 -2.38%
1810 $798.70 0.00%
1811 $850.65 6.50%
1812 $863.64 1.53%
1813 $1,038.96 20.30%
1814 $1,142.86 10.00%
1815 $1,000.00 -12.50%
1816 $915.58 -8.44%
1817 $863.64 -5.67%
1818 $824.68 -4.51%
1819 $824.68 0.00%
1820 $759.74 -7.87%
1821 $733.77 -3.42%
1822 $759.74 3.54%
1823 $681.82 -10.26%
1824 $629.87 -7.62%
1825 $642.86 2.06%
1826 $642.86 0.00%
1827 $649.35 1.01%
1828 $616.88 -5.00%
1829 $603.90 -2.11%
1830 $597.40 -1.08%
1831 $564.94 -5.43%
1832 $558.44 -1.15%
1833 $545.45 -2.33%
1834 $558.44 2.38%
1835 $571.43 2.33%
1836 $603.90 5.68%
1837 $623.38 3.23%
1838 $603.90 -3.12%
1839 $603.90 0.00%
1840 $564.94 -6.45%
1841 $564.94 0.00%
1842 $532.47 -5.75%
1843 $480.52 -9.76%
1844 $487.01 1.35%
1845 $493.51 1.33%
1846 $500.00 1.32%
1847 $532.47 6.49%
1848 $512.99 -3.66%
1849 $500.00 -2.53%
1850 $506.49 1.30%
1851 $500.00 -1.28%
1852 $500.00 0.00%
1853 $500.00 0.00%
1854 $545.45 9.09%
1855 $564.94 3.57%
1856 $551.95 -2.30%
1857 $564.94 2.35%
1858 $532.47 -5.75%
1859 $538.96 1.22%
1860 $538.96 0.00%
1861 $571.43 6.02%
1862 $655.84 14.77%
1863 $818.18 24.75%
1864 $1,019.48 24.60%
1865 $1,058.44 3.82%
1866 $1,032.47 -2.45%
1867 $961.04 -6.92%
1868 $922.08 -4.05%
1869 $883.12 -4.23%
1870 $850.65 -3.68%
1871 $792.21 -6.87%
1872 $792.21 0.00%
1873 $779.22 -1.64%
1874 $740.26 -5.00%
1875 $714.29 -3.51%
1876 $694.81 -2.73%
1877 $681.82 -1.87%
1878 $649.35 -4.76%
1879 $649.35 0.00%
1880 $662.34 2.00%
1881 $662.34 0.00%
1882 $662.34 0.00%
1883 $655.84 -0.98%
1884 $636.36 -2.97%
1885 $629.87 -1.02%
1886 $610.39 -3.09%
1887 $616.88 1.06%
1888 $616.88 0.00%
1889 $597.40 -3.16%
1890 $590.91 -1.09%
1891 $590.91 0.00%
1892 $590.91 0.00%
1893 $584.42 -1.10%
1894 $558.44 -4.44%
1895 $545.45 -2.33%
1896 $545.45 0.00%
1897 $538.96 -1.19%
1898 $538.96 0.00%
1899 $538.96 0.00%
1900 $545.45 1.20%
1901 $551.95 1.19%
1902 $558.44 1.18%
1903 $571.43 2.33%
1904 $577.92 1.14%
1905 $571.43 -1.12%
1906 $584.42 2.27%
1907 $610.39 4.44%
1908 $597.40 -2.13%
1909 $590.91 -1.09%
1910 $616.88 4.40%
1911 $616.88 0.00%
1912 $629.87 2.11%
1913 $642.86 2.06%
1914 $649.35 1.01%
1915 $655.84 1.00%
1916 $707.79 7.92%
1917 $831.17 17.43%
1918 $980.52 17.97%
1919 $1,123.38 14.57%
1920 $1,298.70 15.61%
1921 $1,162.34 -10.50%
1922 $1,090.91 -6.15%
1923 $1,110.39 1.79%
1924 $1,110.39 0.00%
1925 $1,136.36 2.34%
1926 $1,149.35 1.14%
1927 $1,129.87 -1.69%
1928 $1,110.39 -1.72%
1929 $1,110.39 0.00%
1930 $1,084.42 -2.34%
1931 $987.01 -8.98%
1932 $889.61 -9.87%
1933 $844.16 -5.11%
1934 $870.13 3.08%
1935 $889.61 2.24%
1936 $902.60 1.46%
1937 $935.06 3.60%
1938 $915.58 -2.08%
1939 $902.60 -1.42%
1940 $909.09 0.72%
1941 $954.55 5.00%
1942 $1,058.44 10.88%
1943 $1,123.38 6.13%
1944 $1,142.86 1.73%
1945 $1,168.83 2.27%
1946 $1,266.23 8.33%
1947 $1,448.05 14.36%
1948 $1,564.94 8.07%
1949 $1,545.45 -1.24%
1950 $1,564.94 1.26%
1951 $1,688.31 7.88%
1952 $1,720.78 1.92%
1953 $1,733.77 0.75%
1954 $1,746.75 0.75%
1955 $1,740.26 -0.37%
1956 $1,766.23 1.49%
1957 $1,824.68 3.31%
1958 $1,876.62 2.85%
1959 $1,889.61 0.69%
1960 $1,922.08 1.72%
1961 $1,941.56 1.01%
1962 $1,961.04 1.00%
1963 $1,987.01 1.32%
1964 $2,012.99 1.31%
1965 $2,045.45 1.61%
1966 $2,103.90 2.86%
1967 $2,168.83 3.09%
1968 $2,259.74 4.19%
1969 $2,383.12 5.46%
1970 $2,519.48 5.72%
1971 $2,629.87 4.38%
1972 $2,714.29 3.21%
1973 $2,883.12 6.22%
1974 $3,201.30 11.04%
1975 $3,493.51 9.13%
1976 $3,694.81 5.76%
1977 $3,935.06 6.50%
1978 $4,233.77 7.59%
1979 $4,714.29 11.35%
1980 $5,350.65 13.50%
1981 $5,902.60 10.32%
1982 $6,266.23 6.16%
1983 $6,467.53 3.21%
1984 $6,746.75 4.32%
1985 $6,987.01 3.56%
1986 $7,116.88 1.86%
1987 $7,376.62 3.65%
1988 $7,681.82 4.14%
1989 $8,051.95 4.82%
1990 $8,487.01 5.40%
1991 $8,844.16 4.21%
1992 $9,110.39 3.01%
1993 $9,383.12 2.99%
1994 $9,623.38 2.56%
1995 $9,896.10 2.83%
1996 $10,188.31 2.95%
1997 $10,422.08 2.29%
1998 $10,584.42 1.56%
1999 $10,818.18 2.21%
2000 $11,181.82 3.36%
2001 $11,500.00 2.85%
2002 $11,681.82 1.58%
2003 $11,948.05 2.28%
2004 $12,266.23 2.66%
2005 $12,681.82 3.39%
2006 $13,090.91 3.23%
2007 $13,463.77 2.85%
2008 $13,980.71 3.84%
2009 $13,930.97 -0.36%
2010 $14,159.48 1.64%
2011 $14,606.43 3.16%
2012 $14,908.70 2.07%
2013 $15,127.08 1.46%
2014 $15,372.47 1.62%
2015 $15,390.71 0.12%
2016 $15,584.87 1.26%
2017 $15,916.88 2.13%
2018 $16,313.64 2.49%
2019 $16,601.14 1.76%
2020 $16,805.95 1.23%
2021 $17,595.47 4.70%
2022 $18,104.03 2.89%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
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This conversion table shows various other 1775 amounts in 2021 dollars, based on the 3,419.09% change in prices:

Conversion: 1775 dollars in 2021
Initial value Equivalent value
$1 dollar in 1775 $35.19 dollars in 2021
$5 dollars in 1775 $175.95 dollars in 2021
$10 dollars in 1775 $351.91 dollars in 2021
$50 dollars in 1775 $1,759.55 dollars in 2021
$100 dollars in 1775 $3,519.09 dollars in 2021
$500 dollars in 1775 $17,595.47 dollars in 2021
$1,000 dollars in 1775 $35,190.93 dollars in 2021
$5,000 dollars in 1775 $175,954.65 dollars in 2021
$10,000 dollars in 1775 $351,909.31 dollars in 2021
$50,000 dollars in 1775 $1,759,546.54 dollars in 2021
$100,000 dollars in 1775 $3,519,093.07 dollars in 2021
$500,000 dollars in 1775 $17,595,465.37 dollars in 2021
$1,000,000 dollars in 1775 $35,190,930.74 dollars in 2021

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £500.00 in 1775 would be equivalent to £84,155.12 in 2021, an absolute change of £83,655.12 and a cumulative change of 16,731.02%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $17,095.47 and total percent change of 3,419.09%.


Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. Breaking down these categories helps explain the main drivers behind price changes.

This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1775 and 2021.

Compare these values to the overall average of 1.46% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $500 in 1775 → 2021
Food and beverages 3.90 1,235,836.16 6,179,680.82
Housing 4.18 2,358,523.45 11,793,117.24
Apparel 1.96 11,697.90 58,989.52
Transportation 3.29 290,371.17 1,452,355.83
Medical care 4.69 7,879,587.88 39,398,439.40
Recreation 1.15 1,572.50 8,362.50
Education and communication 1.84 8,796.46 44,482.29
Other goods and services 4.95 14,573,848.96 72,869,744.79

The graph below compares inflation in categories of goods over time. Click on a category such as "Food" to toggle it on or off:

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 1775. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $500, 1775 to 2021

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1775 and 2021:

CPI in 2021 CPI in 1775
×
1775 USD value
=
2021 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 7.7 in the year 1775 and 270.97016666667 in 2021:

270.970166666677.7
×
$500
=
$17,595.47

$500 in 1775 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $17,595.47 in 2021.

To get the total inflation rate for the 246 years between 1775 and 2021, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2021 - CPI in 1775CPI in 1775
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (246 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

270.97016666667 - 7.77.7
×
100
=
3,419%

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: “$500 in 1775 → 2021 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 17 Jan. 2022, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1775?amount=500&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 1775 to 2021
Cumulative price change 3,419.09%
Average inflation rate 1.46%
Converted amount ($500 base) $17,595.47
Price difference ($500 base) $17,095.47
CPI in 1775 7.700
CPI in 2021 270.970
Inflation in 1775 -4.94%
Inflation in 2021 4.70%
$500 in 1775 $17,595.47 in 2021