$400 in 1895 → $12,020.90 in 2018

Inflation Calculator

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U.S. Inflation Rate, $400 in 1895 to 2018

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2018 are 2,905.23% higher than prices in 1895. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.28% per year during this period.

In other words, $400 in 1895 is equivalent in purchasing power to $12,020.90 in 2018, a difference of $11,620.90 over 123 years.

The 1895 inflation rate was -2.33%. The current inflation rate (2017 to 2018) is now 2.28%1. If this number holds, $400 today will be equivalent to $409.11 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.


Inflation from 1895 to 2018
Cumulative price change 2905.23%
Average inflation rate 2.28%
Converted amount ($400 base) $12,020.90
Price difference ($400 base) $11,620.90
CPI in 1895 8.4
CPI in 2018 252.439
Inflation in 1895 -2.33%
Inflation in 2018 2.28%


U.S. inflation chart since 1665


Buying power of $400 since 1895

This chart shows calculations of buying power equivalence over time for $400 in 1895 (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 USD Value Inflation Rate
1895 $400.00 -2.33%
1896 $400.00 0.00%
1897 $395.24 -1.19%
1898 $395.24 0.00%
1899 $395.24 0.00%
1900 $400.00 1.20%
1901 $404.76 1.19%
1902 $409.52 1.18%
1903 $419.05 2.33%
1904 $423.81 1.14%
1905 $419.05 -1.12%
1906 $428.57 2.27%
1907 $447.62 4.44%
1908 $438.10 -2.13%
1909 $433.33 -1.09%
1910 $452.38 4.40%
1911 $452.38 0.00%
1912 $461.90 2.11%
1913 $471.43 2.06%
1914 $476.19 1.01%
1915 $480.95 1.00%
1916 $519.05 7.92%
1917 $609.52 17.43%
1918 $719.05 17.97%
1919 $823.81 14.57%
1920 $952.38 15.61%
1921 $852.38 -10.50%
1922 $800.00 -6.15%
1923 $814.29 1.79%
1924 $814.29 0.00%
1925 $833.33 2.34%
1926 $842.86 1.14%
1927 $828.57 -1.69%
1928 $814.29 -1.72%
1929 $814.29 0.00%
1930 $795.24 -2.34%
1931 $723.81 -8.98%
1932 $652.38 -9.87%
1933 $619.05 -5.11%
1934 $638.10 3.08%
1935 $652.38 2.24%
1936 $661.90 1.46%
1937 $685.71 3.60%
1938 $671.43 -2.08%
1939 $661.90 -1.42%
1940 $666.67 0.72%
1941 $700.00 5.00%
1942 $776.19 10.88%
1943 $823.81 6.13%
1944 $838.10 1.73%
1945 $857.14 2.27%
1946 $928.57 8.33%
1947 $1,061.90 14.36%
1948 $1,147.62 8.07%
1949 $1,133.33 -1.24%
1950 $1,147.62 1.26%
1951 $1,238.10 7.88%
1952 $1,261.90 1.92%
1953 $1,271.43 0.75%
1954 $1,280.95 0.75%
1955 $1,276.19 -0.37%
1956 $1,295.24 1.49%
1957 $1,338.10 3.31%
1958 $1,376.19 2.85%
1959 $1,385.71 0.69%
1960 $1,409.52 1.72%
1961 $1,423.81 1.01%
1962 $1,438.10 1.00%
1963 $1,457.14 1.32%
1964 $1,476.19 1.31%
1965 $1,500.00 1.61%
1966 $1,542.86 2.86%
1967 $1,590.48 3.09%
1968 $1,657.14 4.19%
1969 $1,747.62 5.46%
1970 $1,847.62 5.72%
1971 $1,928.57 4.38%
1972 $1,990.48 3.21%
1973 $2,114.29 6.22%
1974 $2,347.62 11.04%
1975 $2,561.90 9.13%
1976 $2,709.52 5.76%
1977 $2,885.71 6.50%
1978 $3,104.76 7.59%
1979 $3,457.14 11.35%
1980 $3,923.81 13.50%
1981 $4,328.57 10.32%
1982 $4,595.24 6.16%
1983 $4,742.86 3.21%
1984 $4,947.62 4.32%
1985 $5,123.81 3.56%
1986 $5,219.05 1.86%
1987 $5,409.52 3.65%
1988 $5,633.33 4.14%
1989 $5,904.76 4.82%
1990 $6,223.81 5.40%
1991 $6,485.71 4.21%
1992 $6,680.95 3.01%
1993 $6,880.95 2.99%
1994 $7,057.14 2.56%
1995 $7,257.14 2.83%
1996 $7,471.43 2.95%
1997 $7,642.86 2.29%
1998 $7,761.90 1.56%
1999 $7,933.33 2.21%
2000 $8,200.00 3.36%
2001 $8,433.33 2.85%
2002 $8,566.67 1.58%
2003 $8,761.90 2.28%
2004 $8,995.24 2.66%
2005 $9,300.00 3.39%
2006 $9,600.00 3.23%
2007 $9,873.43 2.85%
2008 $10,252.52 3.84%
2009 $10,216.05 -0.36%
2010 $10,383.62 1.64%
2011 $10,711.38 3.16%
2012 $10,933.05 2.07%
2013 $11,093.19 1.46%
2014 $11,273.14 1.62%
2015 $11,286.52 0.12%
2016 $11,428.90 1.26%
2017 $11,672.38 2.13%
2018 $12,020.90 2.99%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £400.00 in 1895 would be equivalent to £51,082.41 in 2018, an absolute change of £50,682.41 and a cumulative change of 12,670.60%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $11,620.90 and total percent change of 2,905.23%.


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 1895 and 2018.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.28% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $400 in 1895 → 2018
Food 3.13 4,346.06 17,784.23
Shelter 4.10 13,928.24 56,112.98
Energy 3.88 10,763.36 43,453.43
Apparel 2.05 1,118.45 4,873.81
New vehicles 1.05 263.09 1,452.36
Used cars and trucks 0.61 112.33 849.31
Transportation services 3.35 5,622.88 22,891.51
Medical care services 5.11 45,699.32 183,197.27
Medical care commodities 4.29 17,352.48 69,809.92

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1895. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $400 since 1895

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018CPI in 1895
×
1895 USD value
=
2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 8.4 in the year 1895 and 252.439 in 2018:

252.4398.4
×
$400
=
$12,020.90

$400 in 1895 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $12,020.90 in 2018.

To get the total inflation rate for the 123 years between 1895 and 2018, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2018 - CPI in 1895CPI in 1895
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (123 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

252.439 - 8.48.4
×
100
=
2,905%

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 2.28% during these years has a compounding effect. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate produces an overall price difference of 2,905.23% over 123 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if you had invested $400 in the S&P 500 index in 1895, your investment would be worth approximately $42,479,475.51 in 2018. This is a change of 10,619,768.88%.

This means the nominal return on a $400 investment is $42,479,075.51, but inflation would eat into your real returns.

Inflation would account for 96.67% of your returns ($41,065,568.75), for an inflation-adjusted real return of about $1,413,506.77.


News headlines from 1895

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

  • Italy invades Abyssinia (Ethiopia today).
  • First Sino-Japanese war finishes after signing the Treaty of Shimonoseki.
  • Electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range today known as X-rays were produced by Wilhelm Rontgen, a German physicist.
  • The Nobel Prize is established in the will of Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel.

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: “$400 in 1895 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 20 Oct. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/1895-dollars?amount=400.

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


» Read more about inflation.