# \$150 in 1848 is worth \$4,944.08 today

\$

## Value of \$150 from 1848 to 2020

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today's prices in 2020 are 3,196.05% higher than average prices since 1848. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.05% per year during this period, causing the real value of a dollar to decrease.

In other words, \$150 in 1848 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$4,944.08 in 2020, a difference of \$4,794.08 over 172 years.

The 1848 inflation rate was -3.66%. The current year-over-year inflation rate (2019 to 2020) is now 1.18%1. If this number holds, \$150 today will be equivalent in buying power to \$151.77 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.

 Cumulative price change 3,196.05% Average inflation rate 2.05% Converted amount (\$150 base) \$4,944.08 Price difference (\$150 base) \$4,794.08 CPI in 1848 7.900 CPI in 2020 260.388 Inflation in 1848 -3.66% Inflation in 2020 1.18%

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

## Buying power of \$150 in 1848

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$150 in 1848 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$150, you would need to end with \$4,944.08 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When \$150 is equivalent to \$4,944.08 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 1848 dollars, the chart below shows how \$150 is worth less over 172 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: 1848-2020
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1848 \$150.00 -3.66%
1849 \$146.20 -2.53%
1850 \$148.10 1.30%
1851 \$146.20 -1.28%
1852 \$146.20 0.00%
1853 \$146.20 0.00%
1854 \$159.49 9.09%
1855 \$165.19 3.57%
1856 \$161.39 -2.30%
1857 \$165.19 2.35%
1858 \$155.70 -5.75%
1859 \$157.59 1.22%
1860 \$157.59 0.00%
1861 \$167.09 6.02%
1862 \$191.77 14.77%
1863 \$239.24 24.75%
1864 \$298.10 24.60%
1865 \$309.49 3.82%
1866 \$301.90 -2.45%
1867 \$281.01 -6.92%
1868 \$269.62 -4.05%
1869 \$258.23 -4.23%
1870 \$248.73 -3.68%
1871 \$231.65 -6.87%
1872 \$231.65 0.00%
1873 \$227.85 -1.64%
1874 \$216.46 -5.00%
1875 \$208.86 -3.51%
1876 \$203.16 -2.73%
1877 \$199.37 -1.87%
1878 \$189.87 -4.76%
1879 \$189.87 0.00%
1880 \$193.67 2.00%
1881 \$193.67 0.00%
1882 \$193.67 0.00%
1883 \$191.77 -0.98%
1884 \$186.08 -2.97%
1885 \$184.18 -1.02%
1886 \$178.48 -3.09%
1887 \$180.38 1.06%
1888 \$180.38 0.00%
1889 \$174.68 -3.16%
1890 \$172.78 -1.09%
1891 \$172.78 0.00%
1892 \$172.78 0.00%
1893 \$170.89 -1.10%
1894 \$163.29 -4.44%
1895 \$159.49 -2.33%
1896 \$159.49 0.00%
1897 \$157.59 -1.19%
1898 \$157.59 0.00%
1899 \$157.59 0.00%
1900 \$159.49 1.20%
1901 \$161.39 1.19%
1902 \$163.29 1.18%
1903 \$167.09 2.33%
1904 \$168.99 1.14%
1905 \$167.09 -1.12%
1906 \$170.89 2.27%
1907 \$178.48 4.44%
1908 \$174.68 -2.13%
1909 \$172.78 -1.09%
1910 \$180.38 4.40%
1911 \$180.38 0.00%
1912 \$184.18 2.11%
1913 \$187.97 2.06%
1914 \$189.87 1.01%
1915 \$191.77 1.00%
1916 \$206.96 7.92%
1917 \$243.04 17.43%
1918 \$286.71 17.97%
1919 \$328.48 14.57%
1920 \$379.75 15.61%
1921 \$339.87 -10.50%
1922 \$318.99 -6.15%
1923 \$324.68 1.79%
1924 \$324.68 0.00%
1925 \$332.28 2.34%
1926 \$336.08 1.14%
1927 \$330.38 -1.69%
1928 \$324.68 -1.72%
1929 \$324.68 0.00%
1930 \$317.09 -2.34%
1931 \$288.61 -8.98%
1932 \$260.13 -9.87%
1933 \$246.84 -5.11%
1934 \$254.43 3.08%
1935 \$260.13 2.24%
1936 \$263.92 1.46%
1937 \$273.42 3.60%
1938 \$267.72 -2.08%
1939 \$263.92 -1.42%
1940 \$265.82 0.72%
1941 \$279.11 5.00%
1942 \$309.49 10.88%
1943 \$328.48 6.13%
1944 \$334.18 1.73%
1945 \$341.77 2.27%
1946 \$370.25 8.33%
1947 \$423.42 14.36%
1948 \$457.59 8.07%
1949 \$451.90 -1.24%
1950 \$457.59 1.26%
1951 \$493.67 7.88%
1952 \$503.16 1.92%
1953 \$506.96 0.75%
1954 \$510.76 0.75%
1955 \$508.86 -0.37%
1956 \$516.46 1.49%
1957 \$533.54 3.31%
1958 \$548.73 2.85%
1959 \$552.53 0.69%
1960 \$562.03 1.72%
1961 \$567.72 1.01%
1962 \$573.42 1.00%
1963 \$581.01 1.32%
1964 \$588.61 1.31%
1965 \$598.10 1.61%
1966 \$615.19 2.86%
1967 \$634.18 3.09%
1968 \$660.76 4.19%
1969 \$696.84 5.46%
1970 \$736.71 5.72%
1971 \$768.99 4.38%
1972 \$793.67 3.21%
1973 \$843.04 6.22%
1974 \$936.08 11.04%
1975 \$1,021.52 9.13%
1976 \$1,080.38 5.76%
1977 \$1,150.63 6.50%
1978 \$1,237.97 7.59%
1979 \$1,378.48 11.35%
1980 \$1,564.56 13.50%
1981 \$1,725.95 10.32%
1982 \$1,832.28 6.16%
1983 \$1,891.14 3.21%
1984 \$1,972.78 4.32%
1985 \$2,043.04 3.56%
1986 \$2,081.01 1.86%
1987 \$2,156.96 3.65%
1988 \$2,246.20 4.14%
1989 \$2,354.43 4.82%
1990 \$2,481.65 5.40%
1991 \$2,586.08 4.21%
1992 \$2,663.92 3.01%
1993 \$2,743.67 2.99%
1994 \$2,813.92 2.56%
1995 \$2,893.67 2.83%
1996 \$2,979.11 2.95%
1997 \$3,047.47 2.29%
1998 \$3,094.94 1.56%
1999 \$3,163.29 2.21%
2000 \$3,269.62 3.36%
2001 \$3,362.66 2.85%
2002 \$3,415.82 1.58%
2003 \$3,493.67 2.28%
2004 \$3,586.71 2.66%
2005 \$3,708.23 3.39%
2006 \$3,827.85 3.23%
2007 \$3,936.87 2.85%
2008 \$4,088.03 3.84%
2009 \$4,073.49 -0.36%
2010 \$4,140.30 1.64%
2011 \$4,270.99 3.16%
2012 \$4,359.38 2.07%
2013 \$4,423.23 1.46%
2014 \$4,494.99 1.62%
2015 \$4,500.32 0.12%
2016 \$4,557.09 1.26%
2017 \$4,654.18 2.13%
2018 \$4,770.19 2.49%
2019 \$4,854.26 1.76%
2020 \$4,944.08 1.85%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 166 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1848 amounts in today's dollars, based on the 3,196.05% change in prices:

Conversion Table: Value of a dollar today
Initial value Equivalent value
\$1 dollar in 1848 \$32.96 dollars today
\$5 dollars in 1848 \$164.80 dollars today
\$10 dollars in 1848 \$329.61 dollars today
\$50 dollars in 1848 \$1,648.03 dollars today
\$100 dollars in 1848 \$3,296.05 dollars today
\$500 dollars in 1848 \$16,480.25 dollars today
\$1,000 dollars in 1848 \$32,960.51 dollars today
\$5,000 dollars in 1848 \$164,802.53 dollars today
\$10,000 dollars in 1848 \$329,605.06 dollars today
\$50,000 dollars in 1848 \$1,648,025.32 dollars today
\$100,000 dollars in 1848 \$3,296,050.63 dollars today
\$500,000 dollars in 1848 \$16,480,253.16 dollars today
\$1,000,000 dollars in 1848 \$32,960,506.33 dollars today

## Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £150.00 in 1848 would be equivalent to £17,972.26 in 2020, an absolute change of £17,822.26 and a cumulative change of 11,881.51%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$4,794.08 and total percent change of 3,196.05%.

## 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 1848 and 2020.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.05% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$150 in 1848 → 2020
Food and beverages 3.90 72,229.96 108,494.94
Housing 4.19 116,552.38 174,978.56
Apparel 1.96 2,706.20 4,209.30
Transportation 3.17 21,217.23 31,975.84
Medical care 5.12 537,181.05 805,921.57
Recreation 1.10 556.36 984.54
Education and communication 1.84 2,212.68 3,469.02
Other goods and services 4.98 429,928.77 645,043.16

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 1848. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

## How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$150 since 1848

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1848 and today:

CPI today CPI in 1848
×
1848 USD value
=
Today's value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 7.9 in the year 1848 and 260.388 in 2020:

260.3887.9
×
\$150
=
\$4,944.08

\$150 in 1848 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$4,944.08 in 2020.

To get the total inflation rate for the 172 years between 1848 and 2020, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2020 - CPI in 1848CPI in 1848
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (172 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

260.388 - 7.97.9
×
100
=
3,196%

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

• The Mexican-American war ends after signing Treaty of Guadalupe. Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico went to the United States
• June Days Uprising begins in Paris.
• Seneca Falls hosts the first US Women's Rights Convention; it is arranged by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady
• Nationalist revolt against British rule in Ireland is put down by police. Event is known as the Tipperary Revolt

## 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: “\$150 in 1848 → 2020 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 3 Dec. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1848?amount=150.

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