$15,000 in 1926 → $217,422.03 in 2019

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$15,000 in 1926 → $217,422.03 in 2019

U.S. Inflation Rate, $15,000 in 1926 to 2019

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today's prices in 2019 are 1,349.48% higher than average prices throughout 1926. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.92% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, $15,000 in 1926 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $217,422.03 in 2019, a difference of $202,422.03 over 93 years.

The 1926 inflation rate was 1.14%. The current inflation rate (2018 to 2019) is now 1.75%1. If this number holds, $15,000 today will be equivalent in buying power to $15,262.47 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.


Inflation from 1926 to 2019
Cumulative price change 1,349.48%
Average inflation rate 2.92%
Converted amount ($15,000 base) $217,422.03
Price difference ($15,000 base) $202,422.03
CPI in 1926 17.700
CPI in 2019 256.558
Inflation in 1926 1.14%
Inflation in 2019 1.75%

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
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Buying power of $15,000 in 1926

This chart shows calculation of buying power equivalence, often referred to as "the value of a dollar" over time for $15,000 in 1926 (price index tracking began in 1635).

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
1926 $15,000.00 1.14%
1927 $14,745.76 -1.69%
1928 $14,491.53 -1.72%
1929 $14,491.53 0.00%
1930 $14,152.54 -2.34%
1931 $12,881.36 -8.98%
1932 $11,610.17 -9.87%
1933 $11,016.95 -5.11%
1934 $11,355.93 3.08%
1935 $11,610.17 2.24%
1936 $11,779.66 1.46%
1937 $12,203.39 3.60%
1938 $11,949.15 -2.08%
1939 $11,779.66 -1.42%
1940 $11,864.41 0.72%
1941 $12,457.63 5.00%
1942 $13,813.56 10.88%
1943 $14,661.02 6.13%
1944 $14,915.25 1.73%
1945 $15,254.24 2.27%
1946 $16,525.42 8.33%
1947 $18,898.31 14.36%
1948 $20,423.73 8.07%
1949 $20,169.49 -1.24%
1950 $20,423.73 1.26%
1951 $22,033.90 7.88%
1952 $22,457.63 1.92%
1953 $22,627.12 0.75%
1954 $22,796.61 0.75%
1955 $22,711.86 -0.37%
1956 $23,050.85 1.49%
1957 $23,813.56 3.31%
1958 $24,491.53 2.85%
1959 $24,661.02 0.69%
1960 $25,084.75 1.72%
1961 $25,338.98 1.01%
1962 $25,593.22 1.00%
1963 $25,932.20 1.32%
1964 $26,271.19 1.31%
1965 $26,694.92 1.61%
1966 $27,457.63 2.86%
1967 $28,305.08 3.09%
1968 $29,491.53 4.19%
1969 $31,101.69 5.46%
1970 $32,881.36 5.72%
1971 $34,322.03 4.38%
1972 $35,423.73 3.21%
1973 $37,627.12 6.22%
1974 $41,779.66 11.04%
1975 $45,593.22 9.13%
1976 $48,220.34 5.76%
1977 $51,355.93 6.50%
1978 $55,254.24 7.59%
1979 $61,525.42 11.35%
1980 $69,830.51 13.50%
1981 $77,033.90 10.32%
1982 $81,779.66 6.16%
1983 $84,406.78 3.21%
1984 $88,050.85 4.32%
1985 $91,186.44 3.56%
1986 $92,881.36 1.86%
1987 $96,271.19 3.65%
1988 $100,254.24 4.14%
1989 $105,084.75 4.82%
1990 $110,762.71 5.40%
1991 $115,423.73 4.21%
1992 $118,898.31 3.01%
1993 $122,457.63 2.99%
1994 $125,593.22 2.56%
1995 $129,152.54 2.83%
1996 $132,966.10 2.95%
1997 $136,016.95 2.29%
1998 $138,135.59 1.56%
1999 $141,186.44 2.21%
2000 $145,932.20 3.36%
2001 $150,084.75 2.85%
2002 $152,457.63 1.58%
2003 $155,932.20 2.28%
2004 $160,084.75 2.66%
2005 $165,508.47 3.39%
2006 $170,847.46 3.23%
2007 $175,713.56 2.85%
2008 $182,460.17 3.84%
2009 $181,811.02 -0.36%
2010 $184,793.22 1.64%
2011 $190,626.27 3.16%
2012 $194,571.19 2.07%
2013 $197,421.19 1.46%
2014 $200,623.73 1.62%
2015 $200,861.86 0.12%
2016 $203,395.76 1.26%
2017 $207,728.81 2.13%
2018 $212,802.40 2.44%
2019 $217,422.03 2.17%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
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Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1926 to 2019 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $15,000):

  • San Francisco, California: 3.24% average rate, $15,000 → $291,069.42, cumulative change of 1,840.46%
  • Seattle, Washington: 3.12% average rate, $15,000 → $261,611.69, cumulative change of 1,644.08%
  • Boston, Massachusetts: 2.98% average rate, $15,000 → $230,004.49, cumulative change of 1,433.36%
  • New York: 2.97% average rate, $15,000 → $227,883.63, cumulative change of 1,419.22%
  • Houston, Texas: 2.89% average rate, $15,000 → $211,864.41, cumulative change of 1,312.43%
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 2.84% average rate, $15,000 → $203,588.66, cumulative change of 1,257.26%
  • Atlanta, Georgia: 2.83% average rate, $15,000 → $200,529.67, cumulative change of 1,236.86%
  • Chicago, Illinois: 2.80% average rate, $15,000 → $195,773.30, cumulative change of 1,205.16%
  • Detroit, Michigan: 2.77% average rate, $15,000 → $189,973.51, cumulative change of 1,166.49%

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 93 years between 1926 and 2019 (3.24%).

Detroit, Michigan experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 93 years between 1926 and 2019 (2.77%).

Note that some locations showing 0% inflation may have not yet reported latest data.


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £15,000.00 in 1926 would be equivalent to £909,261.11 in 2019, an absolute change of £894,261.11 and a cumulative change of 5,961.74%.

In Canada, CA$15,000.00 in 1926 would be equivalent to CA$217,500.00 in 2019, an absolute change of CA$202,500.00 and a cumulative change of 1,350.00%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $202,422.03 and total percent change of 1,349.48%.


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 1926 and 2019.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.92% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $15,000 in 1926 → 2019
Food 2.96 1,412.02 226,802.89
Shelter 4.09 4,053.67 623,051.18
Energy 3.78 3,059.05 473,857.59
Apparel 1.70 380.66 72,098.71
New vehicles 1.04 162.12 39,317.43
Used cars and trucks 0.62 78.11 26,716.54
Transportation services 4.03 3,824.78 588,717.62
Medical care services 5.08 9,928.68 1,504,301.45
Medical care commodities 3.00 1,465.30 234,795.45

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1926. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $15,000 since 1926

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2019CPI in 1926
×
1926 USD value
=
2019 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 17.7 in the year 1926 and 256.558 in 2019:

256.55817.7
×
$15,000
=
$217,422.03

$15,000 in 1926 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $217,422.03 in 2019.

To get the total inflation rate for the 93 years between 1926 and 2019, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2019 - CPI in 1926CPI in 1926
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (93 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

256.558 - 17.717.7
×
100
=
1,349%

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 2.92% has a compounding effect between 1926 and 2019. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 1,349.48% over 93 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $15,000 in the S&P 500 index in 1926, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $114,736,181.86 in 2019. This is a return on investment of 764,807.88%, with an absolute return of $114,721,181.86.

These numbers are not inflation adjusted, so they are considered nominal. In order to evaluate the real return on our investment, we must calculate the return with inflation taken into account.

The compounding effect of inflation would account for 93.10% of returns ($106,806,539.09) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $15,000 investment is $7,914,642.77.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1926-2019
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $15,000 $114,736,181.86 764,807.88%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$15,000 $7,914,642.77 52,764.29%


News headlines from 1926

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

  • Abdulaziz Ibn Saud is declared King of Nejd and Hejaz.
  • In support of striking coal miners, Trade Union Congress calls for a general strike one minute to midnight, known as the British General Strike.
  • Trotsky and his followers are thrown out by the Russian Politburo.
  • Autonomy inside the British Commonwealth is gained after the Imperial Conference.

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: “$15,000 in 1926 → 2019 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 22 Sep. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1926?amount=15000.

Special thanks to QuickChart for providing downloadable chart images.


» Read more about inflation and investment.

Inflation from 1926 to 2019
Cumulative price change 1,349.48%
Average inflation rate 2.92%
Converted amount ($15,000 base) $217,422.03
Price difference ($15,000 base) $202,422.03
CPI in 1926 17.700
CPI in 2019 256.558
Inflation in 1926 1.14%
Inflation in 2019 1.75%
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