$1 in 1904 → $27.54 in 2017

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👉 You may be interested in $1 in 1904 → 2018

U.S. Inflation Rate, $1 in 1904 to 2017

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2017 are 2,654.16% higher than prices in 1904. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.98% per year during this period.

In other words, $1 in 1904 is equivalent in purchasing power to $27.54 in 2017, a difference of $26.54 over 113 years.

The 1904 inflation rate was 1.14%. The inflation rate in 2017 was 2.13%. The 2017 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.87% per year between 2017 and 2018.


Inflation from 1904 to 2017
Cumulative price change 2654.16%
Average inflation rate 2.98%
Converted amount ($1 base) $27.54
Price difference ($1 base) $26.54
CPI in 1904 8.9
CPI in 2017 245.12
Inflation in 1904 1.14%
Inflation in 2017 2.13%


U.S. inflation chart since 1665


Buying power of $1 since 1904

This chart shows calculations of buying power equivalence over time for $1 in 1904 (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
1904 $1.00 1.14%
1905 $0.99 -1.12%
1906 $1.01 2.27%
1907 $1.06 4.44%
1908 $1.03 -2.13%
1909 $1.02 -1.09%
1910 $1.07 4.40%
1911 $1.07 0.00%
1912 $1.09 2.11%
1913 $1.11 2.06%
1914 $1.12 1.01%
1915 $1.13 1.00%
1916 $1.22 7.92%
1917 $1.44 17.43%
1918 $1.70 17.97%
1919 $1.94 14.57%
1920 $2.25 15.61%
1921 $2.01 -10.50%
1922 $1.89 -6.15%
1923 $1.92 1.79%
1924 $1.92 0.00%
1925 $1.97 2.34%
1926 $1.99 1.14%
1927 $1.96 -1.69%
1928 $1.92 -1.72%
1929 $1.92 0.00%
1930 $1.88 -2.34%
1931 $1.71 -8.98%
1932 $1.54 -9.87%
1933 $1.46 -5.11%
1934 $1.51 3.08%
1935 $1.54 2.24%
1936 $1.56 1.46%
1937 $1.62 3.60%
1938 $1.58 -2.08%
1939 $1.56 -1.42%
1940 $1.57 0.72%
1941 $1.65 5.00%
1942 $1.83 10.88%
1943 $1.94 6.13%
1944 $1.98 1.73%
1945 $2.02 2.27%
1946 $2.19 8.33%
1947 $2.51 14.36%
1948 $2.71 8.07%
1949 $2.67 -1.24%
1950 $2.71 1.26%
1951 $2.92 7.88%
1952 $2.98 1.92%
1953 $3.00 0.75%
1954 $3.02 0.75%
1955 $3.01 -0.37%
1956 $3.06 1.49%
1957 $3.16 3.31%
1958 $3.25 2.85%
1959 $3.27 0.69%
1960 $3.33 1.72%
1961 $3.36 1.01%
1962 $3.39 1.00%
1963 $3.44 1.32%
1964 $3.48 1.31%
1965 $3.54 1.61%
1966 $3.64 2.86%
1967 $3.75 3.09%
1968 $3.91 4.19%
1969 $4.12 5.46%
1970 $4.36 5.72%
1971 $4.55 4.38%
1972 $4.70 3.21%
1973 $4.99 6.22%
1974 $5.54 11.04%
1975 $6.04 9.13%
1976 $6.39 5.76%
1977 $6.81 6.50%
1978 $7.33 7.59%
1979 $8.16 11.35%
1980 $9.26 13.50%
1981 $10.21 10.32%
1982 $10.84 6.16%
1983 $11.19 3.21%
1984 $11.67 4.32%
1985 $12.09 3.56%
1986 $12.31 1.86%
1987 $12.76 3.65%
1988 $13.29 4.14%
1989 $13.93 4.82%
1990 $14.69 5.40%
1991 $15.30 4.21%
1992 $15.76 3.01%
1993 $16.24 2.99%
1994 $16.65 2.56%
1995 $17.12 2.83%
1996 $17.63 2.95%
1997 $18.03 2.29%
1998 $18.31 1.56%
1999 $18.72 2.21%
2000 $19.35 3.36%
2001 $19.90 2.85%
2002 $20.21 1.58%
2003 $20.67 2.28%
2004 $21.22 2.66%
2005 $21.94 3.39%
2006 $22.65 3.23%
2007 $23.30 2.85%
2008 $24.19 3.84%
2009 $24.11 -0.36%
2010 $24.50 1.64%
2011 $25.27 3.16%
2012 $25.80 2.07%
2013 $26.17 1.46%
2014 $26.60 1.62%
2015 $26.63 0.12%
2016 $26.97 1.26%
2017 $27.54 2.13%
2018 $28.33 2.87%*
* 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 £1.00 in 1904 would be equivalent to £115.55 in 2017, an absolute change of £114.55 and a cumulative change of 11,455.16%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $26.54 and total percent change of 2,654.16%.


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 1904 and 2017.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.98% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1 in 1904 → 2017
Food 3.15 3,231.82 33.32
Shelter 4.12 9,470.50 95.70
Energy 3.83 6,886.27 69.86
Apparel 2.07 913.83 10.14
New vehicles 1.09 242.14 3.42
Used cars and trucks 0.63 102.59 2.03
Transportation services 3.34 3,996.49 40.96
Medical care services 5.15 28,918.36 290.18
Medical care commodities 4.35 12,161.77 122.62

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1904. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1, 1904 to 2017

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017CPI in 1904
×
1904 USD value
=
2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 8.9 in the year 1904 and 245.12 in 2017:

245.128.9
×
$1
=
$27.54

$1 in 1904 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $27.54 in 2017.

To get the total inflation rate for the 113 years between 1904 and 2017, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2017 - CPI in 1904CPI in 1904
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (113 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

245.12 - 8.98.9
×
100
=
2,654%

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 2.98% during these years has a compounding effect. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate produces an overall price difference of 2,654.16% over 113 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if you had invested $1 in the S&P 500 index in 1904, your investment would be worth approximately $46,312.51 in 2017. This is a change of 4,631,150.97%.

This means the nominal return on a $1 investment is $46,311.51, but inflation would eat into your real returns.

Inflation would account for 96.37% of your returns ($44,630.00), for an inflation-adjusted real return of about $1,681.51.


News headlines from 1904

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

  • Japanese troops land at Chemulpo in Korea in order to advance toward the border of Manchuria.
  • US gains control of the Panama Canal Zone for a total of $10 million.
  • The St Louis Police force use fingerprints as an investigative method for the first time.

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: “$1 in 1904 → 2017 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 14 Oct. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/1904-dollars-in-2017?amount=1.

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


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