$1,500 in 1912 → $37,905.15 in 2017

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U.S. Inflation Rate, $1,500 in 1912 to 2017

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2017 are 2,427.01% higher than prices in 1912. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.12% per year during this period.

In other words, $1,500 in 1912 is equivalent in purchasing power to $37,905.15 in 2017, a difference of $36,405.15 over 105 years.

The 1912 inflation rate was 2.11%. 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 1912 to 2017
Cumulative price change 2427.01%
Average inflation rate 3.12%
Converted amount ($1,500 base) $37,905.15
Price difference ($1,500 base) $36,405.15
CPI in 1912 9.7
CPI in 2017 245.12
Inflation in 1912 2.11%
Inflation in 2017 2.13%


U.S. inflation chart since 1665


Buying power of $1,500 since 1912

This chart shows calculations of buying power equivalence over time for $1,500 in 1912 (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
1912 $1,500.00 2.11%
1913 $1,530.93 2.06%
1914 $1,546.39 1.01%
1915 $1,561.86 1.00%
1916 $1,685.57 7.92%
1917 $1,979.38 17.43%
1918 $2,335.05 17.97%
1919 $2,675.26 14.57%
1920 $3,092.78 15.61%
1921 $2,768.04 -10.50%
1922 $2,597.94 -6.15%
1923 $2,644.33 1.79%
1924 $2,644.33 0.00%
1925 $2,706.19 2.34%
1926 $2,737.11 1.14%
1927 $2,690.72 -1.69%
1928 $2,644.33 -1.72%
1929 $2,644.33 0.00%
1930 $2,582.47 -2.34%
1931 $2,350.52 -8.98%
1932 $2,118.56 -9.87%
1933 $2,010.31 -5.11%
1934 $2,072.16 3.08%
1935 $2,118.56 2.24%
1936 $2,149.48 1.46%
1937 $2,226.80 3.60%
1938 $2,180.41 -2.08%
1939 $2,149.48 -1.42%
1940 $2,164.95 0.72%
1941 $2,273.20 5.00%
1942 $2,520.62 10.88%
1943 $2,675.26 6.13%
1944 $2,721.65 1.73%
1945 $2,783.51 2.27%
1946 $3,015.46 8.33%
1947 $3,448.45 14.36%
1948 $3,726.80 8.07%
1949 $3,680.41 -1.24%
1950 $3,726.80 1.26%
1951 $4,020.62 7.88%
1952 $4,097.94 1.92%
1953 $4,128.87 0.75%
1954 $4,159.79 0.75%
1955 $4,144.33 -0.37%
1956 $4,206.19 1.49%
1957 $4,345.36 3.31%
1958 $4,469.07 2.85%
1959 $4,500.00 0.69%
1960 $4,577.32 1.72%
1961 $4,623.71 1.01%
1962 $4,670.10 1.00%
1963 $4,731.96 1.32%
1964 $4,793.81 1.31%
1965 $4,871.13 1.61%
1966 $5,010.31 2.86%
1967 $5,164.95 3.09%
1968 $5,381.44 4.19%
1969 $5,675.26 5.46%
1970 $6,000.00 5.72%
1971 $6,262.89 4.38%
1972 $6,463.92 3.21%
1973 $6,865.98 6.22%
1974 $7,623.71 11.04%
1975 $8,319.59 9.13%
1976 $8,798.97 5.76%
1977 $9,371.13 6.50%
1978 $10,082.47 7.59%
1979 $11,226.80 11.35%
1980 $12,742.27 13.50%
1981 $14,056.70 10.32%
1982 $14,922.68 6.16%
1983 $15,402.06 3.21%
1984 $16,067.01 4.32%
1985 $16,639.18 3.56%
1986 $16,948.45 1.86%
1987 $17,567.01 3.65%
1988 $18,293.81 4.14%
1989 $19,175.26 4.82%
1990 $20,211.34 5.40%
1991 $21,061.86 4.21%
1992 $21,695.88 3.01%
1993 $22,345.36 2.99%
1994 $22,917.53 2.56%
1995 $23,567.01 2.83%
1996 $24,262.89 2.95%
1997 $24,819.59 2.29%
1998 $25,206.19 1.56%
1999 $25,762.89 2.21%
2000 $26,628.87 3.36%
2001 $27,386.60 2.85%
2002 $27,819.59 1.58%
2003 $28,453.61 2.28%
2004 $29,211.34 2.66%
2005 $30,201.03 3.39%
2006 $31,175.26 3.23%
2007 $32,063.20 2.85%
2008 $33,294.28 3.84%
2009 $33,175.82 -0.36%
2010 $33,720.00 1.64%
2011 $34,784.38 3.16%
2012 $35,504.23 2.07%
2013 $36,024.28 1.46%
2014 $36,608.66 1.62%
2015 $36,652.11 0.12%
2016 $37,114.48 1.26%
2017 $37,905.15 2.13%
2018 $38,991.65 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 £1,500.00 in 1912 would be equivalent to £162,822.73 in 2017, an absolute change of £161,322.73 and a cumulative change of 10,754.85%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $36,405.15 and total percent change of 2,427.01%.


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 1912 and 2017.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.12% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1,500 in 1912 → 2017
Food 3.15 2,499.45 38,991.75
Shelter 4.12 6,829.33 103,940.00
Energy 3.83 5,072.25 77,583.77
Apparel 2.07 760.49 12,907.39
New vehicles 1.09 213.61 4,704.08
Used cars and trucks 0.63 92.71 2,890.64
Transportation services 3.34 3,049.62 47,244.36
Medical care services 5.15 19,323.36 291,350.35
Medical care commodities 4.35 8,623.50 130,852.52

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1912. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1,500, 1912 to 2017

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017CPI in 1912
×
1912 USD value
=
2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 9.7 in the year 1912 and 245.12 in 2017:

245.129.7
×
$1,500
=
$37,905.15

$1,500 in 1912 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $37,905.15 in 2017.

To get the total inflation rate for the 105 years between 1912 and 2017, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2017 - CPI in 1912CPI in 1912
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (105 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

245.12 - 9.79.7
×
100
=
2,427%

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 3.12% during these years has a compounding effect. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate produces an overall price difference of 2,427.01% over 105 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if you had invested $1,500 in the S&P 500 index in 1912, your investment would be worth approximately $35,078,079.78 in 2017. This is a change of 2,338,438.65%.

This means the nominal return on a $1,500 investment is $35,076,579.78, but inflation would eat into your real returns.

Inflation would account for 96.04% of your returns ($33,688,513.43), for an inflation-adjusted real return of about $1,388,066.35.


News headlines from 1912

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

  • Geophysicist and meteorologist Alfred Wegener presents the theory of continental drift to the Geological Association of Frankfurt.
  • Roald Amundsen explores the South Pole.
  • The first and last voyage of RMS Titanic takes place.
  • Columbia University approves plans for awarding the Pulitzer Prize in several categories. (The prize was established by Joseph Pulitzer.)

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: “$1,500 in 1912 → 2017 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 16 Oct. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/1912-dollars-in-2017?amount=1500.

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


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