# \$1,500 in 1860 is worth \$47,073.61 today

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## U.S. Inflation Rate Calculator from 1665 through 2021

This inflation calculator uses official data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

\$1,500 in 1860 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$47,073.61 today, an increase of \$45,573.61 over 161 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 2.16% per year between 1860 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 3,038.24%.

This means that today's prices are 31.38 times higher than average prices since 1860, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index. A dollar today only buys 3.19% of what it could buy back then.

The 1860 inflation rate was 0.00%. The current year-over-year inflation rate (2020 to 2021) is now 1.36%1. If this number holds, \$1,500 today will be equivalent in buying power to \$1,520.43 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest inflation rates.

 Cumulative price change 3,038.24% Average inflation rate 2.16% Converted amount (\$1,500 base) \$47,073.61 Price difference (\$1,500 base) \$45,573.61 CPI in 1860 8.300 CPI in 2021 260.474 Inflation in 1860 0.00% Inflation in 2021 1.36% \$1,500 in 1860 \$47,073.61 in 2021

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

## Buying power of \$1,500 in 1860

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$1,500 in 1860 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$1,500, you would need to end with \$47,073.61 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When \$1,500 is equivalent to \$47,073.61 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 1860 dollars, the chart below shows how \$1,500 is worth less over 161 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: 1860-2021
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1860 \$1,500.00 -
1861 \$1,590.36 6.02%
1862 \$1,825.30 14.77%
1863 \$2,277.11 24.75%
1864 \$2,837.35 24.60%
1865 \$2,945.78 3.82%
1866 \$2,873.49 -2.45%
1867 \$2,674.70 -6.92%
1868 \$2,566.27 -4.05%
1869 \$2,457.83 -4.23%
1870 \$2,367.47 -3.68%
1871 \$2,204.82 -6.87%
1872 \$2,204.82 0.00%
1873 \$2,168.67 -1.64%
1874 \$2,060.24 -5.00%
1875 \$1,987.95 -3.51%
1876 \$1,933.73 -2.73%
1877 \$1,897.59 -1.87%
1878 \$1,807.23 -4.76%
1879 \$1,807.23 0.00%
1880 \$1,843.37 2.00%
1881 \$1,843.37 0.00%
1882 \$1,843.37 0.00%
1883 \$1,825.30 -0.98%
1884 \$1,771.08 -2.97%
1885 \$1,753.01 -1.02%
1886 \$1,698.80 -3.09%
1887 \$1,716.87 1.06%
1888 \$1,716.87 0.00%
1889 \$1,662.65 -3.16%
1890 \$1,644.58 -1.09%
1891 \$1,644.58 0.00%
1892 \$1,644.58 0.00%
1893 \$1,626.51 -1.10%
1894 \$1,554.22 -4.44%
1895 \$1,518.07 -2.33%
1896 \$1,518.07 0.00%
1897 \$1,500.00 -1.19%
1898 \$1,500.00 0.00%
1899 \$1,500.00 0.00%
1900 \$1,518.07 1.20%
1901 \$1,536.14 1.19%
1902 \$1,554.22 1.18%
1903 \$1,590.36 2.33%
1904 \$1,608.43 1.14%
1905 \$1,590.36 -1.12%
1906 \$1,626.51 2.27%
1907 \$1,698.80 4.44%
1908 \$1,662.65 -2.13%
1909 \$1,644.58 -1.09%
1910 \$1,716.87 4.40%
1911 \$1,716.87 0.00%
1912 \$1,753.01 2.11%
1913 \$1,789.16 2.06%
1914 \$1,807.23 1.01%
1915 \$1,825.30 1.00%
1916 \$1,969.88 7.92%
1917 \$2,313.25 17.43%
1918 \$2,728.92 17.97%
1919 \$3,126.51 14.57%
1920 \$3,614.46 15.61%
1921 \$3,234.94 -10.50%
1922 \$3,036.14 -6.15%
1923 \$3,090.36 1.79%
1924 \$3,090.36 0.00%
1925 \$3,162.65 2.34%
1926 \$3,198.80 1.14%
1927 \$3,144.58 -1.69%
1928 \$3,090.36 -1.72%
1929 \$3,090.36 0.00%
1930 \$3,018.07 -2.34%
1931 \$2,746.99 -8.98%
1932 \$2,475.90 -9.87%
1933 \$2,349.40 -5.11%
1934 \$2,421.69 3.08%
1935 \$2,475.90 2.24%
1936 \$2,512.05 1.46%
1937 \$2,602.41 3.60%
1938 \$2,548.19 -2.08%
1939 \$2,512.05 -1.42%
1940 \$2,530.12 0.72%
1941 \$2,656.63 5.00%
1942 \$2,945.78 10.88%
1943 \$3,126.51 6.13%
1944 \$3,180.72 1.73%
1945 \$3,253.01 2.27%
1946 \$3,524.10 8.33%
1947 \$4,030.12 14.36%
1948 \$4,355.42 8.07%
1949 \$4,301.20 -1.24%
1950 \$4,355.42 1.26%
1951 \$4,698.80 7.88%
1952 \$4,789.16 1.92%
1953 \$4,825.30 0.75%
1954 \$4,861.45 0.75%
1955 \$4,843.37 -0.37%
1956 \$4,915.66 1.49%
1957 \$5,078.31 3.31%
1958 \$5,222.89 2.85%
1959 \$5,259.04 0.69%
1960 \$5,349.40 1.72%
1961 \$5,403.61 1.01%
1962 \$5,457.83 1.00%
1963 \$5,530.12 1.32%
1964 \$5,602.41 1.31%
1965 \$5,692.77 1.61%
1966 \$5,855.42 2.86%
1967 \$6,036.14 3.09%
1968 \$6,289.16 4.19%
1969 \$6,632.53 5.46%
1970 \$7,012.05 5.72%
1971 \$7,319.28 4.38%
1972 \$7,554.22 3.21%
1973 \$8,024.10 6.22%
1974 \$8,909.64 11.04%
1975 \$9,722.89 9.13%
1976 \$10,283.13 5.76%
1977 \$10,951.81 6.50%
1978 \$11,783.13 7.59%
1979 \$13,120.48 11.35%
1980 \$14,891.57 13.50%
1981 \$16,427.71 10.32%
1982 \$17,439.76 6.16%
1983 \$18,000.00 3.21%
1984 \$18,777.11 4.32%
1985 \$19,445.78 3.56%
1986 \$19,807.23 1.86%
1987 \$20,530.12 3.65%
1988 \$21,379.52 4.14%
1989 \$22,409.64 4.82%
1990 \$23,620.48 5.40%
1991 \$24,614.46 4.21%
1992 \$25,355.42 3.01%
1993 \$26,114.46 2.99%
1994 \$26,783.13 2.56%
1995 \$27,542.17 2.83%
1996 \$28,355.42 2.95%
1997 \$29,006.02 2.29%
1998 \$29,457.83 1.56%
1999 \$30,108.43 2.21%
2000 \$31,120.48 3.36%
2001 \$32,006.02 2.85%
2002 \$32,512.05 1.58%
2003 \$33,253.01 2.28%
2004 \$34,138.55 2.66%
2005 \$35,295.18 3.39%
2006 \$36,433.73 3.23%
2007 \$37,471.45 2.85%
2008 \$38,910.18 3.84%
2009 \$38,771.75 -0.36%
2010 \$39,407.71 1.64%
2011 \$40,651.63 3.16%
2012 \$41,492.89 2.07%
2013 \$42,100.66 1.46%
2014 \$42,783.61 1.62%
2015 \$42,834.40 0.12%
2016 \$43,374.76 1.26%
2017 \$44,298.80 2.13%
2018 \$45,403.01 2.49%
2019 \$46,203.16 1.76%
2020 \$46,773.19 1.23%
2021 \$47,073.61 0.64%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 155 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1860 amounts in today's dollars, based on the 3,038.24% change in prices:

Conversion: 1860 dollars today
Initial value Equivalent value
\$1 dollar in 1860 \$31.38 dollars today
\$5 dollars in 1860 \$156.91 dollars today
\$10 dollars in 1860 \$313.82 dollars today
\$50 dollars in 1860 \$1,569.12 dollars today
\$100 dollars in 1860 \$3,138.24 dollars today
\$500 dollars in 1860 \$15,691.20 dollars today
\$1,000 dollars in 1860 \$31,382.41 dollars today
\$5,000 dollars in 1860 \$156,912.05 dollars today
\$10,000 dollars in 1860 \$313,824.10 dollars today
\$50,000 dollars in 1860 \$1,569,120.48 dollars today
\$100,000 dollars in 1860 \$3,138,240.96 dollars today
\$500,000 dollars in 1860 \$15,691,204.82 dollars today
\$1,000,000 dollars in 1860 \$31,382,409.64 dollars today

## 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 1860 and 2021.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.16% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$1,500 in 1860 → 2021
Food and beverages 3.91 47,691.83 716,877.49
Housing 4.19 74,598.29 1,120,474.35
Apparel 1.95 2,152.57 33,788.59
Transportation 3.17 15,081.73 227,725.99
Medical care 4.73 170,603.23 2,560,548.40
Recreation 1.11 491.46 8,871.93
Education and communication 1.85 1,816.83 28,752.41
Other goods and services 4.99 252,903.87 3,795,058.11

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 1860. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

## How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$1,500 since 1860

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1860 and today:

CPI today CPI in 1860
×
1860 USD value
=
Today's value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 8.3 in the year 1860 and 260.474 in 2021:

260.4748.3
×
\$1,500
=
\$47,073.61

\$1,500 in 1860 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$47,073.61 in 2021.

To get the total inflation rate for the 161 years between 1860 and 2021, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2021 - CPI in 1860CPI in 1860
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (161 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

260.474 - 8.38.3
×
100
=
3,038%

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

• Abraham Lincoln becomes the 16th President of the U.S.
• Slavery ends in the Dutch East Indies.

## 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: “\$1,500 in 1860 → 2021 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 17 Jan. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1860?amount=1500&endYear=2020.

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

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 3,038.24% Average inflation rate 2.16% Converted amount (\$1,500 base) \$47,073.61 Price difference (\$1,500 base) \$45,573.61 CPI in 1860 8.300 CPI in 2021 260.474 Inflation in 1860 0.00% Inflation in 2021 1.36% \$1,500 in 1860 \$47,073.61 in 2021