$100 in 1979 → $337.63 in 2017

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$100 in 1979 → $337.63 in 2017

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U.S. Inflation Rate, $100 in 1979 to 2017

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2017 are 237.63% higher than average prices throughout 1979. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.25% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, $100 in 1979 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $337.63 in 2017, a difference of $237.63 over 38 years.

The 1979 inflation rate was 11.35%. The inflation rate in 2017 was 2.13%. The 2017 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.35% per year between 2017 and 2019.


Inflation from 1979 to 2017
Cumulative price change 237.63%
Average inflation rate 3.25%
Converted amount ($100 base) $337.63
Price difference ($100 base) $237.63
CPI in 1979 72.600
CPI in 2017 245.120
Inflation in 1979 11.35%
Inflation in 2017 2.13%

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
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Buying power of $100 in 1979

This chart shows calculation of buying power equivalence, often referred to as "the value of a dollar" over time for $100 in 1979 (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
1979 $100.00 11.35%
1980 $113.50 13.50%
1981 $125.21 10.32%
1982 $132.92 6.16%
1983 $137.19 3.21%
1984 $143.11 4.32%
1985 $148.21 3.56%
1986 $150.96 1.86%
1987 $156.47 3.65%
1988 $162.95 4.14%
1989 $170.80 4.82%
1990 $180.03 5.40%
1991 $187.60 4.21%
1992 $193.25 3.01%
1993 $199.04 2.99%
1994 $204.13 2.56%
1995 $209.92 2.83%
1996 $216.12 2.95%
1997 $221.07 2.29%
1998 $224.52 1.56%
1999 $229.48 2.21%
2000 $237.19 3.36%
2001 $243.94 2.85%
2002 $247.80 1.58%
2003 $253.44 2.28%
2004 $260.19 2.66%
2005 $269.01 3.39%
2006 $277.69 3.23%
2007 $285.60 2.85%
2008 $296.56 3.84%
2009 $295.51 -0.36%
2010 $300.35 1.64%
2011 $309.83 3.16%
2012 $316.25 2.07%
2013 $320.88 1.46%
2014 $326.08 1.62%
2015 $326.47 0.12%
2016 $330.59 1.26%
2017 $337.63 2.13%
2018 $345.88 2.44%
2019 $353.66 2.25%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 32 more rows

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1979 to 2017 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $100):

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 38 years between 1979 and 2017 (3.69%).

Houston, Texas experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 38 years between 1979 and 2017 (2.95%).

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


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £100.00 in 1979 would be equivalent to £480.94 in 2017, an absolute change of £380.94 and a cumulative change of 380.94%.

In Canada, CA$100.00 in 1979 would be equivalent to CA$313.46 in 2017, an absolute change of CA$213.46 and a cumulative change of 213.46%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $237.63 and total percent change of 237.63%.


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 1979 and 2017.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.25% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $100 in 1979 → 2017
Food 3.05 212.91 312.91
Shelter 3.93 332.23 432.23
Energy 3.03 211.13 311.13
Apparel 1.04 47.90 147.90
New vehicles 1.09 51.23 151.23
Used cars and trucks 0.63 26.80 126.80
Transportation services 4.01 346.12 446.12
Medical care services 5.46 654.35 754.35
Medical care commodities 4.57 446.49 546.49

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1979. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $100, 1979 to 2017

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017CPI in 1979
×
1979 USD value
=
2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 72.6 in the year 1979 and 245.12 in 2017:

245.1272.6
×
$100
=
$337.63

$100 in 1979 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $337.63 in 2017.

To get the total inflation rate for the 38 years between 1979 and 2017, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2017 - CPI in 1979CPI in 1979
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (38 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

245.12 - 72.672.6
×
100
=
238%

Alternate Measurements of Inflation

The above data describe the CPI for all items. Also of note is the Core CPI, which measures inflation for all items except for the more volatile categories of food and energy. Core inflation averaged 3.36% per year between 1979 and 2017 (vs all-CPI inflation of 3.25%), for an inflation total of 250.91%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $100 in 1979 is equivalent in buying power to $350.91 in 2017, a difference of $250.91. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $337.63 with a difference of $237.63.

In 1979, core inflation was 9.74%.


Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 3.25% has a compounding effect between 1979 and 2017. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 237.63% over 38 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $100 in the S&P 500 index in 1979, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $7,970.22 in 2017. This is a return on investment of 7,870.22%, with an absolute return of $7,870.22.

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 70.38% of returns ($5,539.21) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $100 investment is $2,331.01.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1979-2017
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $100 $7,970.22 7,870.22%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$100 $2,331.01 2,331.01%


News headlines from 1979

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

  • Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran after fifteen years of exile.
  • Ugandan dictator Idi Amin flees to Libya after the Tanzanian army captures Kampala, Uganda's capital.
  • Margaret Thatcher becomes Prime Minister of United Kingdom, the first ever woman to hold the position.
  • Afghanistan is invaded by the Soviets and overthrowing of President Hafizullah Amin.

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: “$100 in 1979 → 2017 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 24 Oct. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/1979-dollars-in-2017?amount=100.

Special thanks to QuickChart for providing downloadable chart images.

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


» Read more about inflation and investment.

Inflation from 1979 to 2017
Cumulative price change 237.63%
Average inflation rate 3.25%
Converted amount ($100 base) $337.63
Price difference ($100 base) $237.63
CPI in 1979 72.600
CPI in 2017 245.120
Inflation in 1979 11.35%
Inflation in 2017 2.13%
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