According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today's prices in 2019 are 2,440.31% higher than average prices throughout 1915. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.16% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, $780 in 1915 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $19,814.39 in 2019, a difference of $19,034.39 over 104 years.

The 1915 inflation rate was 1.00%. The current inflation rate (2018 to 2019) is now 1.81%^{1}. If this number holds, $780 today will be equivalent in buying power to $794.13 next year.
The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.

Contents

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Cumulative price change | 2,440.31% |

Average inflation rate | 3.16% |

Converted amount ($780 base) | $19,814.39 |

Price difference ($780 base) | $19,034.39 |

CPI in 1915 | 10.100 |

CPI in 2019 | 256.571 |

Inflation in 1915 | 1.00% |

Inflation in 2019 | 1.81% |

This chart shows calculation of buying power equivalence, often referred to as "the value of a dollar" over time for $780 in 1915 (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:

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1915 to 2019 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $780):

**San Francisco, California**: 3.38% average rate, $780 → $24,830.16, cumulative change of 3,083.35%**Seattle, Washington**: 3.33% average rate, $780 → $23,422.09, cumulative change of 2,902.83%**New York**: 3.25% average rate, $780 → $21,806.27, cumulative change of 2,695.68%**Boston, Massachusetts**: 3.21% average rate, $780 → $20,783.51, cumulative change of 2,564.55%**Philadelphia, Pennsylvania**: 3.14% average rate, $780 → $19,463.06, cumulative change of 2,395.26%**Houston, Texas**: 3.10% average rate, $780 → $18,720.04, cumulative change of 2,300.01%**Chicago, Illinois**: 3.10% average rate, $780 → $18,709.03, cumulative change of 2,298.59%**Detroit, Michigan**: 3.10% average rate, $780 → $18,695.06, cumulative change of 2,296.80%

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 104 years between 1915 and 2019 (3.38%).

Detroit, Michigan experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 104 years between 1915 and 2019 (3.10%).

Note that some locations showing 0% inflation may have not yet reported latest data.

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £780.00 in 1915 would be equivalent to £79,519.02 in 2019, an absolute change of £78,739.02 and a cumulative change of 10,094.75%.

In Canada, CA$780.00 in 1915 would be equivalent to CA$16,516.19 in 2019, an absolute change of CA$15,736.19 and a cumulative change of 2,017.46%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $19,034.39 and total percent change of 2,440.31%.

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 1915 and 2019.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.16% per year:

Category | Avg Inflation (%) | Total Inflation (%) | $780 in 1915 → 2019 |
---|---|---|---|

Food | 3.17 | 2,462.66 | 19,988.72 |

Shelter | 4.09 | 6,340.25 | 50,233.94 |

Energy | 3.78 | 4,658.48 | 37,116.15 |

Apparel | 2.02 | 704.18 | 6,272.59 |

New vehicles | 1.04 | 193.76 | 2,291.33 |

Used cars and trucks | 0.62 | 90.70 | 1,487.42 |

Transportation services | 4.03 | 5,958.97 | 47,260.00 |

Medical care services | 5.08 | 17,151.48 | 134,561.57 |

Medical care commodities | 3.00 | 2,064.88 | 16,886.04 |

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1915. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2019CPI in 1915

×

1915 USD value

=

2019 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 10.1 in the year 1915 and 256.571 in 2019:

256.57110.1

×

$780

=

$780 in 1915 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $19,814.39 in 2019.

To get the total inflation rate for the 104 years between 1915 and 2019, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2019 - CPI in 1915CPI in 1915

×

100

=

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

256.571 - 10.110.1

×

100

=

The average inflation rate of 3.16% has a compounding effect between 1915 and 2019. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 2,440.31% over 104 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $780 in the S&P 500 index in 1915, our investment would be *nominally* worth approximately $20,089,691.92 in 2019. This is a return on investment of 2,575,501.53%, with an absolute return of $20,088,911.92.

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 96.06% of returns ($19,298,105.44) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted *real* return of our $780 investment is $790,806.48.

Original Amount | Final Amount | Change | |
---|---|---|---|

Nominal |
$780 | $20,089,691.92 | 2,575,501.53% |

RealInflation Adjusted |
$780 | $790,806.48 | 101,385.45% |

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

- French troops force Germans back into the Champagne region, suffering losses of 50,000 men and gaining several hundred yards.
- Germany uses poison gas for the first time in World War I.
- Almost 430,000 French, British, and Germans are killed in the Battle of Loos.
- The one-millionth Model T is produced by Ford Motor Company.

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index (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: “$780 in 1915 → 2019 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 18 Aug. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/1915-dollars-in-2019?amount=780.

Special thanks to QuickChart for providing downloadable chart images.

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

Cumulative price change | 2,440.31% |

Average inflation rate | 3.16% |

Converted amount ($780 base) | $19,814.39 |

Price difference ($780 base) | $19,034.39 |

CPI in 1915 | 10.100 |

CPI in 2019 | 256.571 |

Inflation in 1915 | 1.00% |

Inflation in 2019 | 1.81% |