$30,000 in 1900 → $846,489.29 in 2015

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$30,000 in 1900 → $846,489.29 in 2015

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U.S. Inflation Rate, $30,000 in 1900 to 2015

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2015 are 2,721.63% higher than average prices throughout 1900. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.95% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, $30,000 in 1900 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $846,489.29 in 2015, a difference of $816,489.29 over 115 years.

The 1900 inflation rate was 1.20%. The inflation rate in 2015 was 0.12%. The 2015 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.08% per year between 2015 and 2019.


Inflation from 1900 to 2015
Cumulative price change 2,721.63%
Average inflation rate 2.95%
Converted amount ($30,000 base) $846,489.29
Price difference ($30,000 base) $816,489.29
CPI in 1900 8.400
CPI in 2015 237.017
Inflation in 1900 1.20%
Inflation in 2015 0.12%

U.S. inflation chart since 1665


Buying power of $30,000 in 1900

This chart shows calculation of buying power equivalence, often referred to as "the value of a dollar" over time for $30,000 in 1900 (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
1900 $30,000.00 1.20%
1901 $30,357.14 1.19%
1902 $30,714.29 1.18%
1903 $31,428.57 2.33%
1904 $31,785.71 1.14%
1905 $31,428.57 -1.12%
1906 $32,142.86 2.27%
1907 $33,571.43 4.44%
1908 $32,857.14 -2.13%
1909 $32,500.00 -1.09%
1910 $33,928.57 4.40%
1911 $33,928.57 0.00%
1912 $34,642.86 2.11%
1913 $35,357.14 2.06%
1914 $35,714.29 1.01%
1915 $36,071.43 1.00%
1916 $38,928.57 7.92%
1917 $45,714.29 17.43%
1918 $53,928.57 17.97%
1919 $61,785.71 14.57%
1920 $71,428.57 15.61%
1921 $63,928.57 -10.50%
1922 $60,000.00 -6.15%
1923 $61,071.43 1.79%
1924 $61,071.43 0.00%
1925 $62,500.00 2.34%
1926 $63,214.29 1.14%
1927 $62,142.86 -1.69%
1928 $61,071.43 -1.72%
1929 $61,071.43 0.00%
1930 $59,642.86 -2.34%
1931 $54,285.71 -8.98%
1932 $48,928.57 -9.87%
1933 $46,428.57 -5.11%
1934 $47,857.14 3.08%
1935 $48,928.57 2.24%
1936 $49,642.86 1.46%
1937 $51,428.57 3.60%
1938 $50,357.14 -2.08%
1939 $49,642.86 -1.42%
1940 $50,000.00 0.72%
1941 $52,500.00 5.00%
1942 $58,214.29 10.88%
1943 $61,785.71 6.13%
1944 $62,857.14 1.73%
1945 $64,285.71 2.27%
1946 $69,642.86 8.33%
1947 $79,642.86 14.36%
1948 $86,071.43 8.07%
1949 $85,000.00 -1.24%
1950 $86,071.43 1.26%
1951 $92,857.14 7.88%
1952 $94,642.86 1.92%
1953 $95,357.14 0.75%
1954 $96,071.43 0.75%
1955 $95,714.29 -0.37%
1956 $97,142.86 1.49%
1957 $100,357.14 3.31%
1958 $103,214.29 2.85%
1959 $103,928.57 0.69%
1960 $105,714.29 1.72%
1961 $106,785.71 1.01%
1962 $107,857.14 1.00%
1963 $109,285.71 1.32%
1964 $110,714.29 1.31%
1965 $112,500.00 1.61%
1966 $115,714.29 2.86%
1967 $119,285.71 3.09%
1968 $124,285.71 4.19%
1969 $131,071.43 5.46%
1970 $138,571.43 5.72%
1971 $144,642.86 4.38%
1972 $149,285.71 3.21%
1973 $158,571.43 6.22%
1974 $176,071.43 11.04%
1975 $192,142.86 9.13%
1976 $203,214.29 5.76%
1977 $216,428.57 6.50%
1978 $232,857.14 7.59%
1979 $259,285.71 11.35%
1980 $294,285.71 13.50%
1981 $324,642.86 10.32%
1982 $344,642.86 6.16%
1983 $355,714.29 3.21%
1984 $371,071.43 4.32%
1985 $384,285.71 3.56%
1986 $391,428.57 1.86%
1987 $405,714.29 3.65%
1988 $422,500.00 4.14%
1989 $442,857.14 4.82%
1990 $466,785.71 5.40%
1991 $486,428.57 4.21%
1992 $501,071.43 3.01%
1993 $516,071.43 2.99%
1994 $529,285.71 2.56%
1995 $544,285.71 2.83%
1996 $560,357.14 2.95%
1997 $573,214.29 2.29%
1998 $582,142.86 1.56%
1999 $595,000.00 2.21%
2000 $615,000.00 3.36%
2001 $632,500.00 2.85%
2002 $642,500.00 1.58%
2003 $657,142.86 2.28%
2004 $674,642.86 2.66%
2005 $697,500.00 3.39%
2006 $720,000.00 3.23%
2007 $740,507.14 2.85%
2008 $768,939.29 3.84%
2009 $766,203.57 -0.36%
2010 $778,771.43 1.64%
2011 $803,353.57 3.16%
2012 $819,978.57 2.07%
2013 $831,989.29 1.46%
2014 $845,485.71 1.62%
2015 $846,489.29 0.12%
2016 $857,167.86 1.26%
2017 $875,428.57 2.13%
2018 $896,810.12 2.44%
2019 $919,092.86 2.48%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 109 more rows

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £30,000.00 in 1900 would be equivalent to £3,326,086.96 in 2015, an absolute change of £3,296,086.96 and a cumulative change of 10,986.96%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $816,489.29 and total percent change of 2,721.63%.


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 1900 and 2015.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.95% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $30,000 in 1900 → 2015
Food 3.20 3,653.57 1,126,069.51
Shelter 4.14 10,559.32 3,197,797.27
Energy 3.95 8,463.94 2,569,183.33
Apparel 2.11 1,009.11 332,734.00
New vehicles 1.17 280.45 114,134.53
Used cars and trucks 0.87 170.55 81,164.52
Transportation services 4.09 9,924.01 3,007,204.41
Medical care services 5.20 33,783.87 10,165,161.51
Medical care commodities 3.06 3,117.51 965,253.07

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 1900. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $30,000, 1900 to 2015

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2015CPI in 1900
×
1900 USD value
=
2015 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 8.4 in the year 1900 and 237.017 in 2015:

237.0178.4
×
$30,000
=
$846,489.29

$30,000 in 1900 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $846,489.29 in 2015.

To get the total inflation rate for the 115 years between 1900 and 2015, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2015 - CPI in 1900CPI in 1900
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (115 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

237.017 - 8.48.4
×
100
=
2,722%

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 2.95% has a compounding effect between 1900 and 2015. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 2,721.63% over 115 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $30,000 in the S&P 500 index in 1900, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $1,188,993,765.69 in 2015. This is a return on investment of 3,963,112.55%, with an absolute return of $1,188,963,765.69 on top of the original $30,000.

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 96.46% of returns ($1,146,826,300.31) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $30,000 investment is $42,137,465.38. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $35,816,846 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1900-2015
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $30,000 $1,188,993,765.69 3,963,112.55%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$30,000 $42,137,465.38 140,454.67%


News headlines from 1900

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

  • Britain establishes the protectorates of Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria.
  • America announces the Open Door Policy to promote trade with China.
  • The US Congress passes the Currency Act, establishing the gold standard.
  • Dutch botanist and geneticist Hugo de Vries rediscovers Mendel's law of genetics
  • Under pressure from Japan, Korea denies Russia access to Masampo Port, leading to a war between Russia and Japan.

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: “$30,000 in 1900 → 2015 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 17 Nov. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/1900-dollars-in-2015?amount=30000.

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 1900 to 2015
Cumulative price change 2,721.63%
Average inflation rate 2.95%
Converted amount ($30,000 base) $846,489.29
Price difference ($30,000 base) $816,489.29
CPI in 1900 8.400
CPI in 2015 237.017
Inflation in 1900 1.20%
Inflation in 2015 0.12%
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