# \$1 in 1815 → \$16.80 in 2020

## Inflation Calculator

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### U.S. Inflation Rate, \$1 from 1815 to 2020

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today's prices in 2020 are 1,579.73% higher than average prices since 1815. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 1.39% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, \$1 in 1815 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$16.80 in 2020, a difference of \$15.80 over 205 years.

The 1815 inflation rate was -12.50%. The current inflation rate (2019 to 2020) is now 2.33%1. If this number holds, \$1 today will be equivalent in buying power to \$1.02 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.

 Cumulative price change 1,579.73% Average inflation rate 1.39% Converted amount (\$1 base) \$16.80 Price difference (\$1 base) \$15.80 CPI in 1815 15.400 CPI in 2020 258.678 Inflation in 1815 -12.50% Inflation in 2020 2.33%

USD Inflation since 1635
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

### Buying power of \$1 in 1815

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$1 in 1815 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$1, you would need to end with \$16.80 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When \$1 is equivalent to \$16.80 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 1815 dollars, the chart below shows how \$1 buys less over the past 205 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:

Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1815 \$1.00 -12.50%
1816 \$0.92 -8.44%
1817 \$0.86 -5.67%
1818 \$0.82 -4.51%
1819 \$0.82 0.00%
1820 \$0.76 -7.87%
1821 \$0.73 -3.42%
1822 \$0.76 3.54%
1823 \$0.68 -10.26%
1824 \$0.63 -7.62%
1825 \$0.64 2.06%
1826 \$0.64 0.00%
1827 \$0.65 1.01%
1828 \$0.62 -5.00%
1829 \$0.60 -2.11%
1830 \$0.60 -1.08%
1831 \$0.56 -5.43%
1832 \$0.56 -1.15%
1833 \$0.55 -2.33%
1834 \$0.56 2.38%
1835 \$0.57 2.33%
1836 \$0.60 5.68%
1837 \$0.62 3.23%
1838 \$0.60 -3.12%
1839 \$0.60 0.00%
1840 \$0.56 -6.45%
1841 \$0.56 0.00%
1842 \$0.53 -5.75%
1843 \$0.48 -9.76%
1844 \$0.49 1.35%
1845 \$0.49 1.33%
1846 \$0.50 1.32%
1847 \$0.53 6.49%
1848 \$0.51 -3.66%
1849 \$0.50 -2.53%
1850 \$0.51 1.30%
1851 \$0.50 -1.28%
1852 \$0.50 0.00%
1853 \$0.50 0.00%
1854 \$0.55 9.09%
1855 \$0.56 3.57%
1856 \$0.55 -2.30%
1857 \$0.56 2.35%
1858 \$0.53 -5.75%
1859 \$0.54 1.22%
1860 \$0.54 0.00%
1861 \$0.57 6.02%
1862 \$0.66 14.77%
1863 \$0.82 24.75%
1864 \$1.02 24.60%
1865 \$1.06 3.82%
1866 \$1.03 -2.45%
1867 \$0.96 -6.92%
1868 \$0.92 -4.05%
1869 \$0.88 -4.23%
1870 \$0.85 -3.68%
1871 \$0.79 -6.87%
1872 \$0.79 0.00%
1873 \$0.78 -1.64%
1874 \$0.74 -5.00%
1875 \$0.71 -3.51%
1876 \$0.69 -2.73%
1877 \$0.68 -1.87%
1878 \$0.65 -4.76%
1879 \$0.65 0.00%
1880 \$0.66 2.00%
1881 \$0.66 0.00%
1882 \$0.66 0.00%
1883 \$0.66 -0.98%
1884 \$0.64 -2.97%
1885 \$0.63 -1.02%
1886 \$0.61 -3.09%
1887 \$0.62 1.06%
1888 \$0.62 0.00%
1889 \$0.60 -3.16%
1890 \$0.59 -1.09%
1891 \$0.59 0.00%
1892 \$0.59 0.00%
1893 \$0.58 -1.10%
1894 \$0.56 -4.44%
1895 \$0.55 -2.33%
1896 \$0.55 0.00%
1897 \$0.54 -1.19%
1898 \$0.54 0.00%
1899 \$0.54 0.00%
1900 \$0.55 1.20%
1901 \$0.55 1.19%
1902 \$0.56 1.18%
1903 \$0.57 2.33%
1904 \$0.58 1.14%
1905 \$0.57 -1.12%
1906 \$0.58 2.27%
1907 \$0.61 4.44%
1908 \$0.60 -2.13%
1909 \$0.59 -1.09%
1910 \$0.62 4.40%
1911 \$0.62 0.00%
1912 \$0.63 2.11%
1913 \$0.64 2.06%
1914 \$0.65 1.01%
1915 \$0.66 1.00%
1916 \$0.71 7.92%
1917 \$0.83 17.43%
1918 \$0.98 17.97%
1919 \$1.12 14.57%
1920 \$1.30 15.61%
1921 \$1.16 -10.50%
1922 \$1.09 -6.15%
1923 \$1.11 1.79%
1924 \$1.11 0.00%
1925 \$1.14 2.34%
1926 \$1.15 1.14%
1927 \$1.13 -1.69%
1928 \$1.11 -1.72%
1929 \$1.11 0.00%
1930 \$1.08 -2.34%
1931 \$0.99 -8.98%
1932 \$0.89 -9.87%
1933 \$0.84 -5.11%
1934 \$0.87 3.08%
1935 \$0.89 2.24%
1936 \$0.90 1.46%
1937 \$0.94 3.60%
1938 \$0.92 -2.08%
1939 \$0.90 -1.42%
1940 \$0.91 0.72%
1941 \$0.95 5.00%
1942 \$1.06 10.88%
1943 \$1.12 6.13%
1944 \$1.14 1.73%
1945 \$1.17 2.27%
1946 \$1.27 8.33%
1947 \$1.45 14.36%
1948 \$1.56 8.07%
1949 \$1.55 -1.24%
1950 \$1.56 1.26%
1951 \$1.69 7.88%
1952 \$1.72 1.92%
1953 \$1.73 0.75%
1954 \$1.75 0.75%
1955 \$1.74 -0.37%
1956 \$1.77 1.49%
1957 \$1.82 3.31%
1958 \$1.88 2.85%
1959 \$1.89 0.69%
1960 \$1.92 1.72%
1961 \$1.94 1.01%
1962 \$1.96 1.00%
1963 \$1.99 1.32%
1964 \$2.01 1.31%
1965 \$2.05 1.61%
1966 \$2.10 2.86%
1967 \$2.17 3.09%
1968 \$2.26 4.19%
1969 \$2.38 5.46%
1970 \$2.52 5.72%
1971 \$2.63 4.38%
1972 \$2.71 3.21%
1973 \$2.88 6.22%
1974 \$3.20 11.04%
1975 \$3.49 9.13%
1976 \$3.69 5.76%
1977 \$3.94 6.50%
1978 \$4.23 7.59%
1979 \$4.71 11.35%
1980 \$5.35 13.50%
1981 \$5.90 10.32%
1982 \$6.27 6.16%
1983 \$6.47 3.21%
1984 \$6.75 4.32%
1985 \$6.99 3.56%
1986 \$7.12 1.86%
1987 \$7.38 3.65%
1988 \$7.68 4.14%
1989 \$8.05 4.82%
1990 \$8.49 5.40%
1991 \$8.84 4.21%
1992 \$9.11 3.01%
1993 \$9.38 2.99%
1994 \$9.62 2.56%
1995 \$9.90 2.83%
1996 \$10.19 2.95%
1997 \$10.42 2.29%
1998 \$10.58 1.56%
1999 \$10.82 2.21%
2000 \$11.18 3.36%
2001 \$11.50 2.85%
2002 \$11.68 1.58%
2003 \$11.95 2.28%
2004 \$12.27 2.66%
2005 \$12.68 3.39%
2006 \$13.09 3.23%
2007 \$13.46 2.85%
2008 \$13.98 3.84%
2009 \$13.93 -0.36%
2010 \$14.16 1.64%
2011 \$14.61 3.16%
2012 \$14.91 2.07%
2013 \$15.13 1.46%
2014 \$15.37 1.62%
2015 \$15.39 0.12%
2016 \$15.58 1.26%
2017 \$15.92 2.13%
2018 \$16.31 2.49%
2019 \$16.60 1.76%
2020 \$16.80 1.18%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 199 more rows

### Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1815 would be equivalent to £89.63 in 2020, an absolute change of £88.63 and a cumulative change of 8,862.55%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$15.80 and total percent change of 1,579.73%.

### Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1815 and 2020.

Compare these values to the overall average of 1.39% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$1 in 1815 → 2020
Food and beverages 3.86 236,568.59 2,366.69
Housing 4.18 444,301.19 4,444.01
Apparel 1.99 5,574.52 56.75
Transportation 3.21 64,721.04 648.21
Medical care 5.10 2,690,688.64 26,907.89
Recreation 1.10 835.52 9.36
Education and communication 1.82 3,911.09 40.11
Other goods and services 4.97 2,095,805.63 20,959.06

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 1815. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

### How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$1 since 1815

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2020CPI in 1815
×
1815 USD value
=
2020 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 15.4 in the year 1815 and 258.678 in 2020:

258.67815.4
×
\$1
=
\$16.80

\$1 in 1815 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$16.80 in 2020.

To get the total inflation rate for the 205 years between 1815 and 2020, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2020 - CPI in 1815CPI in 1815
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (205 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

258.678 - 15.415.4
×
100
=
1,580%

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

• Napoleon leaves Elba in order to reconnect with his supporters in France.
• Napoleon returns to Paris and begins his 100-day rule until his defeat in the Battle of Waterloo.
• The Holy Alliance is signed by Russia, Prussia and Austria
• Napoleon Bonaparte arrives on the island of Saint Hellena to begin his exile

### 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: “\$1 in 1815 → 2020 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 29 Mar. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1815?amount=1&startYear=&future_pct=.