# \$0.01 in 1857 is worth \$0.36 today

\$

## Value of \$0.01 from 1857 to 2024

\$0.01 in 1857 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$0.36 today, an increase of \$0.35 over 167 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 2.17% per year between 1857 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 3,515.40%.

This means that today's prices are 36.15 times as high as average prices since 1857, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index. A dollar today only buys 2.778% of what it could buy back then.

The inflation rate in 1857 was 2.35%. The current inflation rate compared to the end of last year is now 2.89%. If this number holds, the rate of inflation is so negligible that \$0.01 today will roughly maintain its value. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest inflation rates.

 Cumulative price change 3,515.40% Average inflation rate 2.17% Converted amount\$0.01 base \$0.36 Price difference\$0.01 base \$0.35 CPI in 1857 8.700 CPI in 2024 314.540 Inflation in 1857 2.35% Inflation in 2024 2.89% \$0.01 in 1857 \$0.36 in 2024

USD inflation since 1857
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

## Buying power of \$0.01 in 1857

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$0.01 in 1857 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$0.01, you would need to end with \$0.36 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When \$0.01 is equivalent to \$0.36 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 1857 dollars, the chart below shows how \$0.01 is worth less over 167 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: 1857-2024
YearDollar ValueInflation Rate
1857\$0.012.35%
1858\$0.01-5.75%
1859\$0.011.22%
1860\$0.010.00%
1861\$0.016.02%
1862\$0.0114.77%
1863\$0.0124.75%
1864\$0.0224.60%
1865\$0.023.82%
1866\$0.02-2.45%
1867\$0.02-6.92%
1868\$0.02-4.05%
1869\$0.02-4.23%
1870\$0.02-3.68%
1871\$0.01-6.87%
1872\$0.010.00%
1873\$0.01-1.64%
1874\$0.01-5.00%
1875\$0.01-3.51%
1876\$0.01-2.73%
1877\$0.01-1.87%
1878\$0.01-4.76%
1879\$0.010.00%
1880\$0.012.00%
1881\$0.010.00%
1882\$0.010.00%
1883\$0.01-0.98%
1884\$0.01-2.97%
1885\$0.01-1.02%
1886\$0.01-3.09%
1887\$0.011.06%
1888\$0.010.00%
1889\$0.01-3.16%
1890\$0.01-1.09%
1891\$0.010.00%
1892\$0.010.00%
1893\$0.01-1.10%
1894\$0.01-4.44%
1895\$0.01-2.33%
1896\$0.010.00%
1897\$0.01-1.19%
1898\$0.010.00%
1899\$0.010.00%
1900\$0.011.20%
1901\$0.011.19%
1902\$0.011.18%
1903\$0.012.33%
1904\$0.011.14%
1905\$0.01-1.12%
1906\$0.012.27%
1907\$0.014.44%
1908\$0.01-2.13%
1909\$0.01-1.09%
1910\$0.014.40%
1911\$0.010.00%
1912\$0.012.11%
1913\$0.012.06%
1914\$0.011.01%
1915\$0.011.00%
1916\$0.017.92%
1917\$0.0117.43%
1918\$0.0217.97%
1919\$0.0214.57%
1920\$0.0215.61%
1921\$0.02-10.50%
1922\$0.02-6.15%
1923\$0.021.79%
1924\$0.020.00%
1925\$0.022.34%
1926\$0.021.14%
1927\$0.02-1.69%
1928\$0.02-1.72%
1929\$0.020.00%
1930\$0.02-2.34%
1931\$0.02-8.98%
1932\$0.02-9.87%
1933\$0.01-5.11%
1934\$0.023.08%
1935\$0.022.24%
1936\$0.021.46%
1937\$0.023.60%
1938\$0.02-2.08%
1939\$0.02-1.42%
1940\$0.020.72%
1941\$0.025.00%
1942\$0.0210.88%
1943\$0.026.13%
1944\$0.021.73%
1945\$0.022.27%
1946\$0.028.33%
1947\$0.0314.36%
1948\$0.038.07%
1949\$0.03-1.24%
1950\$0.031.26%
1951\$0.037.88%
1952\$0.031.92%
1953\$0.030.75%
1954\$0.030.75%
1955\$0.03-0.37%
1956\$0.031.49%
1957\$0.033.31%
1958\$0.032.85%
1959\$0.030.69%
1960\$0.031.72%
1961\$0.031.01%
1962\$0.031.00%
1963\$0.041.32%
1964\$0.041.31%
1965\$0.041.61%
1966\$0.042.86%
1967\$0.043.09%
1968\$0.044.19%
1969\$0.045.46%
1970\$0.045.72%
1971\$0.054.38%
1972\$0.053.21%
1973\$0.056.22%
1974\$0.0611.04%
1975\$0.069.13%
1976\$0.075.76%
1977\$0.076.50%
1978\$0.077.59%
1979\$0.0811.35%
1980\$0.0913.50%
1981\$0.1010.32%
1982\$0.116.16%
1983\$0.113.21%
1984\$0.124.32%
1985\$0.123.56%
1986\$0.131.86%
1987\$0.133.65%
1988\$0.144.14%
1989\$0.144.82%
1990\$0.155.40%
1991\$0.164.21%
1992\$0.163.01%
1993\$0.172.99%
1994\$0.172.56%
1995\$0.182.83%
1996\$0.182.95%
1997\$0.182.29%
1998\$0.191.56%
1999\$0.192.21%
2000\$0.203.36%
2001\$0.202.85%
2002\$0.211.58%
2003\$0.212.28%
2004\$0.222.66%
2005\$0.223.39%
2006\$0.233.23%
2007\$0.242.85%
2008\$0.253.84%
2009\$0.25-0.36%
2010\$0.251.64%
2011\$0.263.16%
2012\$0.262.07%
2013\$0.271.46%
2014\$0.271.62%
2015\$0.270.12%
2016\$0.281.26%
2017\$0.282.13%
2018\$0.292.49%
2019\$0.291.76%
2020\$0.301.23%
2021\$0.314.70%
2022\$0.348.00%
2023\$0.354.12%
2024\$0.363.23%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 161 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1857 amounts in today's dollars, based on the 3,515.40% change in prices:

Conversion: 1857 dollars today
Initial valueEquivalent value
\$1 dollar in 1857\$36.15 dollars today
\$5 dollars in 1857\$180.77 dollars today
\$10 dollars in 1857\$361.54 dollars today
\$50 dollars in 1857\$1,807.70 dollars today
\$100 dollars in 1857\$3,615.40 dollars today
\$500 dollars in 1857\$18,077.01 dollars today
\$1,000 dollars in 1857\$36,154.02 dollars today
\$5,000 dollars in 1857\$180,770.11 dollars today
\$10,000 dollars in 1857\$361,540.23 dollars today
\$50,000 dollars in 1857\$1,807,701.15 dollars today
\$100,000 dollars in 1857\$3,615,402.30 dollars today
\$500,000 dollars in 1857\$18,077,011.49 dollars today
\$1,000,000 dollars in 1857\$36,154,022.99 dollars today

## Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £0.01 in 1857 would be equivalent to £1.42 in 2024, an absolute change of £1.41 and a cumulative change of 14,071.36%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$0.35 and total percent change of 3,515.40%.

## 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 1857 and 2024.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.17% per year:

CategoryAvg Inflation (%)Total Inflation (%)\$0.01 in 1857 → 2024
Food and beverages3.9969,190.696.93
Housing4.26105,890.7510.60
Apparel1.982,547.690.26
Transportation3.3725,308.792.54
Medical care4.61184,469.9718.46
Recreation1.37864.910.10
Education and communication1.741,682.380.18
Other goods and services4.97327,988.2132.81

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 1857. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

## How to calculate inflation rate for \$0.01 since 1857

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1857 and today:

CPI today CPI in 1857
×
1857 USD value
=
Today's value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 8.7 in the year 1857 and 314.54 in 2024:

314.548.7
×
\$0.01
=
\$0.36

\$0.01 in 1857 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$0.36 in 2024.

To get the total inflation rate for the 167 years between 1857 and 2024, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2024 - CPI in 1857CPI in 1857
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (167 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

314.54 - 8.78.7
×
100
=
3,515%

## Data source & citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (CPI), established in 1913. Price index data from 1774 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. Price index data from 1634 to 1773 is from the American Antiquarian Society, using British pound equivalents.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “\$0.01 in 1857 → 2024 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 16 Aug. 2024, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1857?amount=0.01.

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

#### 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.

 Cumulative price change 3,515.40% Average inflation rate 2.17% Converted amount\$0.01 base \$0.36 Price difference\$0.01 base \$0.35 CPI in 1857 8.700 CPI in 2024 314.540 Inflation in 1857 2.35% Inflation in 2024 2.89% \$0.01 in 1857 \$0.36 in 2024