$1 in 1800 is worth $20.54 in 2020

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Value of $1 from 1800 to 2020

$1 in 1800 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $20.54 in 2020, an increase of $19.54 over 220 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 1.38% per year between 1800 and 2020, producing a cumulative price increase of 1,954.06%.

This means that prices in 2020 are 20.54 times higher than average prices since 1800, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The inflation rate in 1800 was 2.44%. The inflation rate in 2020 was 1.23%. The 2020 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 6.97% per year between 2020 and 2022.


Inflation from 1800 to 2020
Cumulative price change1,954.06%
Average inflation rate1.38%
Converted amount ($1 base)$20.54
Price difference ($1 base)$19.54
CPI in 180012.600
CPI in 2020258.812
Inflation in 18002.44%
Inflation in 20201.23%
$1 in 1800$20.54 in 2020

USD inflation since 1800
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
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Buying power of $1 in 1800

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $1 in 1800 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $1, you would need to end with $20.54 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $1 is equivalent to $20.54 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 1800 dollars, the chart below shows how $1 is worth less over 220 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: 1800-2020
YearDollar ValueInflation Rate
1800$1.002.44%
1801$1.010.79%
1802$0.85-15.75%
1803$0.905.61%
1804$0.944.42%
1805$0.93-0.85%
1806$0.974.27%
1807$0.92-4.92%
1808$1.008.62%
1809$0.98-2.38%
1810$0.980.00%
1811$1.046.50%
1812$1.061.53%
1813$1.2720.30%
1814$1.4010.00%
1815$1.22-12.50%
1816$1.12-8.44%
1817$1.06-5.67%
1818$1.01-4.51%
1819$1.010.00%
1820$0.93-7.87%
1821$0.90-3.42%
1822$0.933.54%
1823$0.83-10.26%
1824$0.77-7.62%
1825$0.792.06%
1826$0.790.00%
1827$0.791.01%
1828$0.75-5.00%
1829$0.74-2.11%
1830$0.73-1.08%
1831$0.69-5.43%
1832$0.68-1.15%
1833$0.67-2.33%
1834$0.682.38%
1835$0.702.33%
1836$0.745.68%
1837$0.763.23%
1838$0.74-3.12%
1839$0.740.00%
1840$0.69-6.45%
1841$0.690.00%
1842$0.65-5.75%
1843$0.59-9.76%
1844$0.601.35%
1845$0.601.33%
1846$0.611.32%
1847$0.656.49%
1848$0.63-3.66%
1849$0.61-2.53%
1850$0.621.30%
1851$0.61-1.28%
1852$0.610.00%
1853$0.610.00%
1854$0.679.09%
1855$0.693.57%
1856$0.67-2.30%
1857$0.692.35%
1858$0.65-5.75%
1859$0.661.22%
1860$0.660.00%
1861$0.706.02%
1862$0.8014.77%
1863$1.0024.75%
1864$1.2524.60%
1865$1.293.82%
1866$1.26-2.45%
1867$1.17-6.92%
1868$1.13-4.05%
1869$1.08-4.23%
1870$1.04-3.68%
1871$0.97-6.87%
1872$0.970.00%
1873$0.95-1.64%
1874$0.90-5.00%
1875$0.87-3.51%
1876$0.85-2.73%
1877$0.83-1.87%
1878$0.79-4.76%
1879$0.790.00%
1880$0.812.00%
1881$0.810.00%
1882$0.810.00%
1883$0.80-0.98%
1884$0.78-2.97%
1885$0.77-1.02%
1886$0.75-3.09%
1887$0.751.06%
1888$0.750.00%
1889$0.73-3.16%
1890$0.72-1.09%
1891$0.720.00%
1892$0.720.00%
1893$0.71-1.10%
1894$0.68-4.44%
1895$0.67-2.33%
1896$0.670.00%
1897$0.66-1.19%
1898$0.660.00%
1899$0.660.00%
1900$0.671.20%
1901$0.671.19%
1902$0.681.18%
1903$0.702.33%
1904$0.711.14%
1905$0.70-1.12%
1906$0.712.27%
1907$0.754.44%
1908$0.73-2.13%
1909$0.72-1.09%
1910$0.754.40%
1911$0.750.00%
1912$0.772.11%
1913$0.792.06%
1914$0.791.01%
1915$0.801.00%
1916$0.877.92%
1917$1.0217.43%
1918$1.2017.97%
1919$1.3714.57%
1920$1.5915.61%
1921$1.42-10.50%
1922$1.33-6.15%
1923$1.361.79%
1924$1.360.00%
1925$1.392.34%
1926$1.401.14%
1927$1.38-1.69%
1928$1.36-1.72%
1929$1.360.00%
1930$1.33-2.34%
1931$1.21-8.98%
1932$1.09-9.87%
1933$1.03-5.11%
1934$1.063.08%
1935$1.092.24%
1936$1.101.46%
1937$1.143.60%
1938$1.12-2.08%
1939$1.10-1.42%
1940$1.110.72%
1941$1.175.00%
1942$1.2910.88%
1943$1.376.13%
1944$1.401.73%
1945$1.432.27%
1946$1.558.33%
1947$1.7714.36%
1948$1.918.07%
1949$1.89-1.24%
1950$1.911.26%
1951$2.067.88%
1952$2.101.92%
1953$2.120.75%
1954$2.130.75%
1955$2.13-0.37%
1956$2.161.49%
1957$2.233.31%
1958$2.292.85%
1959$2.310.69%
1960$2.351.72%
1961$2.371.01%
1962$2.401.00%
1963$2.431.32%
1964$2.461.31%
1965$2.501.61%
1966$2.572.86%
1967$2.653.09%
1968$2.764.19%
1969$2.915.46%
1970$3.085.72%
1971$3.214.38%
1972$3.323.21%
1973$3.526.22%
1974$3.9111.04%
1975$4.279.13%
1976$4.525.76%
1977$4.816.50%
1978$5.177.59%
1979$5.7611.35%
1980$6.5413.50%
1981$7.2110.32%
1982$7.666.16%
1983$7.903.21%
1984$8.254.32%
1985$8.543.56%
1986$8.701.86%
1987$9.023.65%
1988$9.394.14%
1989$9.844.82%
1990$10.375.40%
1991$10.814.21%
1992$11.133.01%
1993$11.472.99%
1994$11.762.56%
1995$12.102.83%
1996$12.452.95%
1997$12.742.29%
1998$12.941.56%
1999$13.222.21%
2000$13.673.36%
2001$14.062.85%
2002$14.281.58%
2003$14.602.28%
2004$14.992.66%
2005$15.503.39%
2006$16.003.23%
2007$16.462.85%
2008$17.093.84%
2009$17.03-0.36%
2010$17.311.64%
2011$17.853.16%
2012$18.222.07%
2013$18.491.46%
2014$18.791.62%
2015$18.810.12%
2016$19.051.26%
2017$19.452.13%
2018$19.942.49%
2019$20.291.76%
2020$20.541.23%
2021$21.514.70%
2022$23.519.30%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 214 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1800 amounts in 2020 dollars, based on the 1,954.06% change in prices:

Conversion: 1800 dollars in 2020
Initial valueEquivalent value
$1 dollar in 1800$20.54 dollars in 2020
$5 dollars in 1800$102.70 dollars in 2020
$10 dollars in 1800$205.41 dollars in 2020
$50 dollars in 1800$1,027.03 dollars in 2020
$100 dollars in 1800$2,054.06 dollars in 2020
$500 dollars in 1800$10,270.30 dollars in 2020
$1,000 dollars in 1800$20,540.61 dollars in 2020
$5,000 dollars in 1800$102,703.04 dollars in 2020
$10,000 dollars in 1800$205,406.08 dollars in 2020
$50,000 dollars in 1800$1,027,030.42 dollars in 2020
$100,000 dollars in 1800$2,054,060.85 dollars in 2020
$500,000 dollars in 1800$10,270,304.23 dollars in 2020
$1,000,000 dollars in 1800$20,540,608.47 dollars in 2020

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1800 would be equivalent to £85.33 in 2020, an absolute change of £84.33 and a cumulative change of 8,432.50%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $19.54 and total percent change of 1,954.06%.


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 1800 and 2020.

Compare these values to the overall average of 1.38% per year:

CategoryAvg Inflation (%)Total Inflation (%)$1 in 1800 → 2020
Food and beverages3.91458,283.154,583.83
Housing4.19843,745.658,438.46
Apparel1.956,953.1170.53
Transportation3.1795,550.56956.51
Medical care4.732,610,424.8426,105.25
Recreation1.111,036.3311.36
Education and communication1.855,573.7256.74
Other goods and services4.994,469,162.7344,692.63

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 1800. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to calculate inflation rate for $1, 1800 to 2020

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1800 and 2020:

CPI in 2020 CPI in 1800
×
1800 USD value
=
2020 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 12.6 in the year 1800 and 258.81166666667 in 2020:

258.8116666666712.6
×
$1
=
$20.54

$1 in 1800 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $20.54 in 2020.

To get the total inflation rate for the 220 years between 1800 and 2020, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2020 - CPI in 1800CPI in 1800
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (220 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

258.81166666667 - 12.612.6
×
100
=
1,954%

Data source & citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (CPI), established in 1913. Inflation data from 1634 to 1912 is sourced from a historical study conducted by political science professor Robert Sahr at Oregon State University and from the American Antiquarian Society.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “$1 in 1800 → 2020 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 5 Oct. 2022, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1800?amount=1&endYear=2020.

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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Inflation from 1800 to 2020
Cumulative price change1,954.06%
Average inflation rate1.38%
Converted amount ($1 base)$20.54
Price difference ($1 base)$19.54
CPI in 180012.600
CPI in 2020258.812
Inflation in 18002.44%
Inflation in 20201.23%
$1 in 1800$20.54 in 2020