$100 in 1941 is worth $2,027.29 today

Value of $100 from 1941 to 2022

$100 in 1941 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $2,027.29 today, an increase of $1,927.29 over 81 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 3.79% per year between 1941 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 1,927.29%.

This means that today's prices are 20.27 times higher than average prices since 1941, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index. A dollar today only buys 4.933% of what it could buy back then.

The inflation rate in 1941 was 5.00%. The current inflation rate compared to last year is now 7.75%. If this number holds, $100 today will be equivalent in buying power to $107.75 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest inflation rates.


Inflation from 1941 to 2022
Cumulative price change1,927.29%
Average inflation rate3.79%
Converted amount ($100 base)$2,027.29
Price difference ($100 base)$1,927.29
CPI in 194114.700
CPI in 2022298.012
Inflation in 19415.00%
Inflation in 20227.75%
$100 in 1941$2,027.29 in 2022

USD inflation since 1941
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
Download

Buying power of $100 in 1941

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $100 in 1941 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $100, you would need to end with $2,027.29 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $100 is equivalent to $2,027.29 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 1941 dollars, the chart below shows how $100 is worth less over 81 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: 1941-2022
YearDollar ValueInflation Rate
1941$100.005.00%
1942$110.8810.88%
1943$117.696.13%
1944$119.731.73%
1945$122.452.27%
1946$132.658.33%
1947$151.7014.36%
1948$163.958.07%
1949$161.90-1.24%
1950$163.951.26%
1951$176.877.88%
1952$180.271.92%
1953$181.630.75%
1954$182.990.75%
1955$182.31-0.37%
1956$185.031.49%
1957$191.163.31%
1958$196.602.85%
1959$197.960.69%
1960$201.361.72%
1961$203.401.01%
1962$205.441.00%
1963$208.161.32%
1964$210.881.31%
1965$214.291.61%
1966$220.412.86%
1967$227.213.09%
1968$236.734.19%
1969$249.665.46%
1970$263.955.72%
1971$275.514.38%
1972$284.353.21%
1973$302.046.22%
1974$335.3711.04%
1975$365.999.13%
1976$387.075.76%
1977$412.246.50%
1978$443.547.59%
1979$493.8811.35%
1980$560.5413.50%
1981$618.3710.32%
1982$656.466.16%
1983$677.553.21%
1984$706.804.32%
1985$731.973.56%
1986$745.581.86%
1987$772.793.65%
1988$804.764.14%
1989$843.544.82%
1990$889.125.40%
1991$926.534.21%
1992$954.423.01%
1993$982.992.99%
1994$1,008.162.56%
1995$1,036.732.83%
1996$1,067.352.95%
1997$1,091.842.29%
1998$1,108.841.56%
1999$1,133.332.21%
2000$1,171.433.36%
2001$1,204.762.85%
2002$1,223.811.58%
2003$1,251.702.28%
2004$1,285.032.66%
2005$1,328.573.39%
2006$1,371.433.23%
2007$1,410.492.85%
2008$1,464.653.84%
2009$1,459.44-0.36%
2010$1,483.371.64%
2011$1,530.203.16%
2012$1,561.862.07%
2013$1,584.741.46%
2014$1,610.451.62%
2015$1,612.360.12%
2016$1,632.701.26%
2017$1,667.482.13%
2018$1,709.052.49%
2019$1,739.171.76%
2020$1,760.621.23%
2021$1,843.334.70%
2022$2,027.299.98%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 75 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1941 amounts in today's dollars, based on the 1,927.29% change in prices:

Conversion: 1941 dollars today
Initial valueEquivalent value
$1 dollar in 1941$20.27 dollars today
$5 dollars in 1941$101.36 dollars today
$10 dollars in 1941$202.73 dollars today
$50 dollars in 1941$1,013.65 dollars today
$100 dollars in 1941$2,027.29 dollars today
$500 dollars in 1941$10,136.46 dollars today
$1,000 dollars in 1941$20,272.93 dollars today
$5,000 dollars in 1941$101,364.63 dollars today
$10,000 dollars in 1941$202,729.25 dollars today
$50,000 dollars in 1941$1,013,646.26 dollars today
$100,000 dollars in 1941$2,027,292.52 dollars today
$500,000 dollars in 1941$10,136,462.59 dollars today
$1,000,000 dollars in 1941$20,272,925.17 dollars today

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1941 to 2022 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $100):

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 81 years between 1941 and 2022 (4.02%).

Detroit, Michigan experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 81 years between 1941 and 2022 (3.62%).

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 £100.00 in 1941 would be equivalent to £5,966.19 in 2022, an absolute change of £5,866.19 and a cumulative change of 5,866.19%.

In Canada, CA$100.00 in 1941 would be equivalent to CA$1,796.50 in 2022, an absolute change of CA$1,696.50 and a cumulative change of 1,696.50%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $1,927.29 and total percent change of 1,927.29%.


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 1941 and 2022.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.79% per year:

CategoryAvg Inflation (%)Total Inflation (%)$100 in 1941 → 2022
Food and beverages3.992,280.002,380.00
Housing4.222,742.532,842.53
Apparel2.15458.24558.24
Transportation3.641,712.531,812.53
Medical care5.015,136.855,236.85
Recreation1.25174.24274.24
Education and communication1.80324.71424.71
Other goods and services4.974,966.835,066.83

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 1941. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to calculate inflation rate for $100 since 1941

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1941 and today:

CPI today CPI in 1941
×
1941 USD value
=
Today's value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 14.7 in the year 1941 and 298.012 in 2022:

298.01214.7
×
$100
=
$2,027.29

$100 in 1941 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $2,027.29 in 2022.

To get the total inflation rate for the 81 years between 1941 and 2022, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2022 - CPI in 1941CPI in 1941
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (81 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

298.012 - 14.714.7
×
100
=
1,927%

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 3.79% has a compounding effect between 1941 and 2022. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 1,927.29% over 81 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $100 in the S&P 500 index in 1941, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $573,631.44 in 2022. This is a return on investment of 573,531.44%, with an absolute return of $573,531.44 on top of the original $100.

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 95.07% of returns ($545,336.00) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $100 investment is $28,195.45. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $23,966 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1941-2022
Original AmountFinal AmountChange
Nominal$100$573,631.44573,531.44%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$100$28,295.4528,195.45%

Information displayed above may differ slightly from other S&P 500 calculators. Minor discrepancies can occur because we use the latest CPI data for inflation, annualized inflation numbers for previous years, and we compute S&P price and dividends from January of 1941 to latest available data for 2022 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 1941 and 2022, see the stock market returns calculator.


Data source & citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (CPI), established in 1913. Inflation data from 1634 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.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “$100 in 1941 → 2022 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 5 Dec. 2022, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1941?amount=100.

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


Ian Webster

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.

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» Read more about inflation and investment.

Inflation from 1941 to 2022
Cumulative price change1,927.29%
Average inflation rate3.79%
Converted amount ($100 base)$2,027.29
Price difference ($100 base)$1,927.29
CPI in 194114.700
CPI in 2022298.012
Inflation in 19415.00%
Inflation in 20227.75%
$100 in 1941$2,027.29 in 2022