$100 in 1861 → $2,853.49 in 2018

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$100 in 1861 → $2,853.49 in 2018

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U.S. Inflation Rate, $100 in 1861 to 2018

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2018 are 2,753.49% higher than average prices throughout 1861. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.16% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, $100 in 1861 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $2,853.49 in 2018, a difference of $2,753.49 over 157 years.

The 1861 inflation rate was 6.02%. The inflation rate in 2018 was 2.44%. The 2018 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.48% per year between 2018 and 2019.


Inflation from 1861 to 2018
Cumulative price change 2,753.49%
Average inflation rate 2.16%
Converted amount ($100 base) $2,853.49
Price difference ($100 base) $2,753.49
CPI in 1861 8.800
CPI in 2018 251.107
Inflation in 1861 6.02%
Inflation in 2018 2.44%

U.S. inflation chart since 1665


Buying power of $100 in 1861

This chart shows calculation of buying power equivalence, often referred to as "the value of a dollar" over time for $100 in 1861 (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
1861 $100.00 6.02%
1862 $114.77 14.77%
1863 $143.18 24.75%
1864 $178.41 24.60%
1865 $185.23 3.82%
1866 $180.68 -2.45%
1867 $168.18 -6.92%
1868 $161.36 -4.05%
1869 $154.55 -4.23%
1870 $148.86 -3.68%
1871 $138.64 -6.87%
1872 $138.64 0.00%
1873 $136.36 -1.64%
1874 $129.55 -5.00%
1875 $125.00 -3.51%
1876 $121.59 -2.73%
1877 $119.32 -1.87%
1878 $113.64 -4.76%
1879 $113.64 0.00%
1880 $115.91 2.00%
1881 $115.91 0.00%
1882 $115.91 0.00%
1883 $114.77 -0.98%
1884 $111.36 -2.97%
1885 $110.23 -1.02%
1886 $106.82 -3.09%
1887 $107.95 1.06%
1888 $107.95 0.00%
1889 $104.55 -3.16%
1890 $103.41 -1.09%
1891 $103.41 0.00%
1892 $103.41 0.00%
1893 $102.27 -1.10%
1894 $97.73 -4.44%
1895 $95.45 -2.33%
1896 $95.45 0.00%
1897 $94.32 -1.19%
1898 $94.32 0.00%
1899 $94.32 0.00%
1900 $95.45 1.20%
1901 $96.59 1.19%
1902 $97.73 1.18%
1903 $100.00 2.33%
1904 $101.14 1.14%
1905 $100.00 -1.12%
1906 $102.27 2.27%
1907 $106.82 4.44%
1908 $104.55 -2.13%
1909 $103.41 -1.09%
1910 $107.95 4.40%
1911 $107.95 0.00%
1912 $110.23 2.11%
1913 $112.50 2.06%
1914 $113.64 1.01%
1915 $114.77 1.00%
1916 $123.86 7.92%
1917 $145.45 17.43%
1918 $171.59 17.97%
1919 $196.59 14.57%
1920 $227.27 15.61%
1921 $203.41 -10.50%
1922 $190.91 -6.15%
1923 $194.32 1.79%
1924 $194.32 0.00%
1925 $198.86 2.34%
1926 $201.14 1.14%
1927 $197.73 -1.69%
1928 $194.32 -1.72%
1929 $194.32 0.00%
1930 $189.77 -2.34%
1931 $172.73 -8.98%
1932 $155.68 -9.87%
1933 $147.73 -5.11%
1934 $152.27 3.08%
1935 $155.68 2.24%
1936 $157.95 1.46%
1937 $163.64 3.60%
1938 $160.23 -2.08%
1939 $157.95 -1.42%
1940 $159.09 0.72%
1941 $167.05 5.00%
1942 $185.23 10.88%
1943 $196.59 6.13%
1944 $200.00 1.73%
1945 $204.55 2.27%
1946 $221.59 8.33%
1947 $253.41 14.36%
1948 $273.86 8.07%
1949 $270.45 -1.24%
1950 $273.86 1.26%
1951 $295.45 7.88%
1952 $301.14 1.92%
1953 $303.41 0.75%
1954 $305.68 0.75%
1955 $304.55 -0.37%
1956 $309.09 1.49%
1957 $319.32 3.31%
1958 $328.41 2.85%
1959 $330.68 0.69%
1960 $336.36 1.72%
1961 $339.77 1.01%
1962 $343.18 1.00%
1963 $347.73 1.32%
1964 $352.27 1.31%
1965 $357.95 1.61%
1966 $368.18 2.86%
1967 $379.55 3.09%
1968 $395.45 4.19%
1969 $417.05 5.46%
1970 $440.91 5.72%
1971 $460.23 4.38%
1972 $475.00 3.21%
1973 $504.55 6.22%
1974 $560.23 11.04%
1975 $611.36 9.13%
1976 $646.59 5.76%
1977 $688.64 6.50%
1978 $740.91 7.59%
1979 $825.00 11.35%
1980 $936.36 13.50%
1981 $1,032.95 10.32%
1982 $1,096.59 6.16%
1983 $1,131.82 3.21%
1984 $1,180.68 4.32%
1985 $1,222.73 3.56%
1986 $1,245.45 1.86%
1987 $1,290.91 3.65%
1988 $1,344.32 4.14%
1989 $1,409.09 4.82%
1990 $1,485.23 5.40%
1991 $1,547.73 4.21%
1992 $1,594.32 3.01%
1993 $1,642.05 2.99%
1994 $1,684.09 2.56%
1995 $1,731.82 2.83%
1996 $1,782.95 2.95%
1997 $1,823.86 2.29%
1998 $1,852.27 1.56%
1999 $1,893.18 2.21%
2000 $1,956.82 3.36%
2001 $2,012.50 2.85%
2002 $2,044.32 1.58%
2003 $2,090.91 2.28%
2004 $2,146.59 2.66%
2005 $2,219.32 3.39%
2006 $2,290.91 3.23%
2007 $2,356.16 2.85%
2008 $2,446.63 3.84%
2009 $2,437.92 -0.36%
2010 $2,477.91 1.64%
2011 $2,556.12 3.16%
2012 $2,609.02 2.07%
2013 $2,647.24 1.46%
2014 $2,690.18 1.62%
2015 $2,693.37 0.12%
2016 $2,727.35 1.26%
2017 $2,785.45 2.13%
2018 $2,853.49 2.44%
2019 $2,924.39 2.48%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
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Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £100.00 in 1861 would be equivalent to £11,595.72 in 2018, an absolute change of £11,495.72 and a cumulative change of 11,495.72%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $2,753.49 and total percent change of 2,753.49%.


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 1861 and 2018.

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

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $100 in 1861 → 2018
Food 3.13 12,618.76 12,718.76
Shelter 4.11 55,390.69 55,490.69
Energy 3.89 39,721.92 39,821.92
Apparel 2.05 2,324.25 2,424.25
New vehicles 1.05 413.73 513.73
Used cars and trucks 0.61 160.19 260.19
Transportation services 4.06 51,871.34 51,971.34
Medical care services 5.11 249,938.52 250,038.52
Medical care commodities 3.04 10,954.99 11,054.99

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 1861. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $100, 1861 to 2018

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018CPI in 1861
×
1861 USD value
=
2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 8.8 in the year 1861 and 251.10683333333 in 2018:

251.106833333338.8
×
$100
=
$2,853.49

$100 in 1861 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $2,853.49 in 2018.

To get the total inflation rate for the 157 years between 1861 and 2018, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2018 - CPI in 1861CPI in 1861
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (157 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

251.10683333333 - 8.88.8
×
100
=
2,753%

News headlines from 1861

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

  • The first King of Italy is crowned, named King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia.
  • Serfdom is abolished by Russian Tsar Alexander II.
  • Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated as the 16th President of the United States.
  • Italy is unified under King Victor Emmanuel II.

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: “1861 dollars in 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 14 Nov. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/1861-dollars-in-2018.

Special thanks to QuickChart for providing downloadable chart images.

in2013dollars.com is a reference website maintained by the Official Data Foundation.


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 1861 to 2018
Cumulative price change 2,753.49%
Average inflation rate 2.16%
Converted amount ($100 base) $2,853.49
Price difference ($100 base) $2,753.49
CPI in 1861 8.800
CPI in 2018 251.107
Inflation in 1861 6.02%
Inflation in 2018 2.44%
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