$1 in 2021 is worth $0.15 in 1971

👉 You may be interested in $1 in 1971 → 2022

Value of $1 from 2021 to 1971

$1 in 2021 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $0.15 in 1971, an increase of $-0.85 over 50 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 3.87% per year between 1971 and 2021, producing a cumulative price increase of -85.05%.

This means that prices in 1971 are 85.05% lower than average prices since 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The inflation rate in 1971 was 4.38%. The inflation rate in 2021 was 4.70%. The 2021 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 9.98% per year between 2021 and 2022.


Inflation from 2021 to 1971
Cumulative price change-85.05%
Average inflation rate3.87%
Converted amount ($1 base)$0.15
Price difference ($1 base)$-0.85
CPI in 2021270.970
CPI in 197140.500
Inflation in 19714.38%
Inflation in 20214.70%
$1 in 2021$0.15 in 1971

USD inflation since 1971
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
Download

Buying power of $1 in 1971

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $1 in 1971 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $1, you would need to end with $0.15 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $1 is equivalent to $0.15 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 1971 dollars, the chart below shows how $1 is worth less over 50 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: 1971-2021
YearDollar ValueInflation Rate
1971$1.004.38%
1972$1.033.21%
1973$1.106.22%
1974$1.2211.04%
1975$1.339.13%
1976$1.405.76%
1977$1.506.50%
1978$1.617.59%
1979$1.7911.35%
1980$2.0313.50%
1981$2.2410.32%
1982$2.386.16%
1983$2.463.21%
1984$2.574.32%
1985$2.663.56%
1986$2.711.86%
1987$2.803.65%
1988$2.924.14%
1989$3.064.82%
1990$3.235.40%
1991$3.364.21%
1992$3.463.01%
1993$3.572.99%
1994$3.662.56%
1995$3.762.83%
1996$3.872.95%
1997$3.962.29%
1998$4.021.56%
1999$4.112.21%
2000$4.253.36%
2001$4.372.85%
2002$4.441.58%
2003$4.542.28%
2004$4.662.66%
2005$4.823.39%
2006$4.983.23%
2007$5.122.85%
2008$5.323.84%
2009$5.30-0.36%
2010$5.381.64%
2011$5.553.16%
2012$5.672.07%
2013$5.751.46%
2014$5.851.62%
2015$5.850.12%
2016$5.931.26%
2017$6.052.13%
2018$6.202.49%
2019$6.311.76%
2020$6.391.23%
2021$6.694.70%
2022$7.369.98%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 44 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1971 amounts in 2021 dollars, based on the -85.05% change in prices:

Conversion: 1971 dollars in 2021
Initial valueEquivalent value
$1 dollar in 1971$6.69 dollars in 2021
$5 dollars in 1971$33.45 dollars in 2021
$10 dollars in 1971$66.91 dollars in 2021
$50 dollars in 1971$334.53 dollars in 2021
$100 dollars in 1971$669.06 dollars in 2021
$500 dollars in 1971$3,345.31 dollars in 2021
$1,000 dollars in 1971$6,690.62 dollars in 2021
$5,000 dollars in 1971$33,453.11 dollars in 2021
$10,000 dollars in 1971$66,906.21 dollars in 2021
$50,000 dollars in 1971$334,531.07 dollars in 2021
$100,000 dollars in 1971$669,062.14 dollars in 2021
$500,000 dollars in 1971$3,345,310.70 dollars in 2021
$1,000,000 dollars in 1971$6,690,621.40 dollars in 2021

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 2021 to 1971 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $1):

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 50 years between 1971 and 2021 (4.23%).

Detroit, Michigan experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 50 years between 1971 and 2021 (3.66%).

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 £1.00 in 2021 would be equivalent to £0.07 in 1971, an absolute change of £-0.93 and a cumulative change of -93.22%.

In Canada, CA$1.00 in 2021 would be equivalent to CA$0.15 in 1971, an absolute change of CA$-0.85 and a cumulative change of -85.25%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $-0.85 and total percent change of -85.05%.


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 2021 and 1971.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.87% per year:

CategoryAvg Inflation (%)Total Inflation (%)$1 in 1971 → 2021
Food and beverages3.87569.036.69
Housing4.08639.067.39
Apparel1.3898.051.98
Transportation3.59484.515.85
Medical care5.501,353.2014.53
Recreation1.1577.271.77
Education and communication1.84148.982.49
Other goods and services4.931,011.2711.11

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 2021. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to calculate inflation rate for $1, 1971 to 2021

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1971 and 2021:

CPI in 1971 CPI in 2021
×
2021 USD value
=
1971 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 270.97016666667 in the year 2021 and 40.5 in 1971:

40.5270.97016666667
×
$1
=
$0.15

$1 in 2021 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $0.15 in 1971.

To get the total inflation rate for the 50 years between 1971 and 2021, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1971 - CPI in 2021CPI in 2021
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (50 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

40.5 - 270.97016666667270.97016666667
×
100
=
-85%

Alternate Measurements of Inflation

There are multiple ways to measure inflation. Published rates of inflation will vary depending on methodology. The Consumer Price Index, used above, is the most common standard used globally.

Alternative measurements are sometimes used based on context and economic/political circumstances. Below are a few examples of alternative measurements.

Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Inflation

The PCE Price Index is the U.S. Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation, compiled by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. It measures the change in prices of goods and services purchased by consumers.

The PCE Price Index changed by 3.39% per year on average between 2021 and 1971. The total PCE inflation between these dates was 430.42%. In 2021, PCE inflation was 4.25%.

This means that the PCE Index equates $1 in 2021 with $5.30 in 1971, a difference of $4.30. Compare this to the standard CPI measurement, which equates $1 with $0.15. The PCE measured 515.47% inflation compared to standard CPI.

For more information on the difference between PCE and CPI, see this analysis provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Core Inflation

Also of note is the Core CPI, which uses the standard CPI but omits the more volatile categories of food and energy.

Core inflation averaged 3.81% per year between 2021 and 1971 (vs all-CPI inflation of 3.87%), for an inflation total of 548.72%. In 2021, core inflation was 4.69%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $1 in 2021 is equivalent in buying power to $6.49 in 1971, a difference of $5.49. Recall that the converted amount is $0.15 when all items including food and energy are measured.


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: “$1 in 2021 → 1971 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 21 Nov. 2022, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/2021?endYear=1971&amount=1.

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.

Email · LinkedIn · Twitter


» Read more about inflation and investment.

Inflation from 2021 to 1971
Cumulative price change-85.05%
Average inflation rate3.87%
Converted amount ($1 base)$0.15
Price difference ($1 base)$-0.85
CPI in 2021270.970
CPI in 197140.500
Inflation in 19714.38%
Inflation in 20214.70%
$1 in 2021$0.15 in 1971