$2,500 in 1898 → $77,276.51 in 2019

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$2,500 in 1898 → $77,276.51 in 2019

U.S. Inflation Rate, $2,500 in 1898 to 2019

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today's prices in 2019 are 2,991.06% higher than average prices throughout 1898. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.88% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, $2,500 in 1898 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $77,276.51 in 2019, a difference of $74,776.51 over 121 years.

The 1898 inflation rate was 0.00%. The current inflation rate (2018 to 2019) is now 1.75%1. If this number holds, $2,500 today will be equivalent in buying power to $2,543.74 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.


Inflation from 1898 to 2019
Cumulative price change 2,991.06%
Average inflation rate 2.88%
Converted amount ($2,500 base) $77,276.51
Price difference ($2,500 base) $74,776.51
CPI in 1898 8.300
CPI in 2019 256.558
Inflation in 1898 0.00%
Inflation in 2019 1.75%

U.S. inflation chart since 1665


Buying power of $2,500 in 1898

This chart shows calculation of buying power equivalence, often referred to as "the value of a dollar" over time for $2,500 in 1898 (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
1898 $2,500.00 -
1899 $2,500.00 0.00%
1900 $2,530.12 1.20%
1901 $2,560.24 1.19%
1902 $2,590.36 1.18%
1903 $2,650.60 2.33%
1904 $2,680.72 1.14%
1905 $2,650.60 -1.12%
1906 $2,710.84 2.27%
1907 $2,831.33 4.44%
1908 $2,771.08 -2.13%
1909 $2,740.96 -1.09%
1910 $2,861.45 4.40%
1911 $2,861.45 0.00%
1912 $2,921.69 2.11%
1913 $2,981.93 2.06%
1914 $3,012.05 1.01%
1915 $3,042.17 1.00%
1916 $3,283.13 7.92%
1917 $3,855.42 17.43%
1918 $4,548.19 17.97%
1919 $5,210.84 14.57%
1920 $6,024.10 15.61%
1921 $5,391.57 -10.50%
1922 $5,060.24 -6.15%
1923 $5,150.60 1.79%
1924 $5,150.60 0.00%
1925 $5,271.08 2.34%
1926 $5,331.33 1.14%
1927 $5,240.96 -1.69%
1928 $5,150.60 -1.72%
1929 $5,150.60 0.00%
1930 $5,030.12 -2.34%
1931 $4,578.31 -8.98%
1932 $4,126.51 -9.87%
1933 $3,915.66 -5.11%
1934 $4,036.14 3.08%
1935 $4,126.51 2.24%
1936 $4,186.75 1.46%
1937 $4,337.35 3.60%
1938 $4,246.99 -2.08%
1939 $4,186.75 -1.42%
1940 $4,216.87 0.72%
1941 $4,427.71 5.00%
1942 $4,909.64 10.88%
1943 $5,210.84 6.13%
1944 $5,301.20 1.73%
1945 $5,421.69 2.27%
1946 $5,873.49 8.33%
1947 $6,716.87 14.36%
1948 $7,259.04 8.07%
1949 $7,168.67 -1.24%
1950 $7,259.04 1.26%
1951 $7,831.33 7.88%
1952 $7,981.93 1.92%
1953 $8,042.17 0.75%
1954 $8,102.41 0.75%
1955 $8,072.29 -0.37%
1956 $8,192.77 1.49%
1957 $8,463.86 3.31%
1958 $8,704.82 2.85%
1959 $8,765.06 0.69%
1960 $8,915.66 1.72%
1961 $9,006.02 1.01%
1962 $9,096.39 1.00%
1963 $9,216.87 1.32%
1964 $9,337.35 1.31%
1965 $9,487.95 1.61%
1966 $9,759.04 2.86%
1967 $10,060.24 3.09%
1968 $10,481.93 4.19%
1969 $11,054.22 5.46%
1970 $11,686.75 5.72%
1971 $12,198.80 4.38%
1972 $12,590.36 3.21%
1973 $13,373.49 6.22%
1974 $14,849.40 11.04%
1975 $16,204.82 9.13%
1976 $17,138.55 5.76%
1977 $18,253.01 6.50%
1978 $19,638.55 7.59%
1979 $21,867.47 11.35%
1980 $24,819.28 13.50%
1981 $27,379.52 10.32%
1982 $29,066.27 6.16%
1983 $30,000.00 3.21%
1984 $31,295.18 4.32%
1985 $32,409.64 3.56%
1986 $33,012.05 1.86%
1987 $34,216.87 3.65%
1988 $35,632.53 4.14%
1989 $37,349.40 4.82%
1990 $39,367.47 5.40%
1991 $41,024.10 4.21%
1992 $42,259.04 3.01%
1993 $43,524.10 2.99%
1994 $44,638.55 2.56%
1995 $45,903.61 2.83%
1996 $47,259.04 2.95%
1997 $48,343.37 2.29%
1998 $49,096.39 1.56%
1999 $50,180.72 2.21%
2000 $51,867.47 3.36%
2001 $53,343.37 2.85%
2002 $54,186.75 1.58%
2003 $55,421.69 2.28%
2004 $56,897.59 2.66%
2005 $58,825.30 3.39%
2006 $60,722.89 3.23%
2007 $62,452.41 2.85%
2008 $64,850.30 3.84%
2009 $64,619.58 -0.36%
2010 $65,679.52 1.64%
2011 $67,752.71 3.16%
2012 $69,154.82 2.07%
2013 $70,167.77 1.46%
2014 $71,306.02 1.62%
2015 $71,390.66 0.12%
2016 $72,291.27 1.26%
2017 $73,831.33 2.13%
2018 $75,634.59 2.44%
2019 $77,276.51 2.17%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 115 more rows

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £2,500.00 in 1898 would be equivalent to £322,247.71 in 2019, an absolute change of £319,747.71 and a cumulative change of 12,789.91%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $74,776.51 and total percent change of 2,991.06%.


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 1898 and 2019.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.88% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $2,500 in 1898 → 2019
Food 3.12 4,018.20 102,955.07
Shelter 4.09 12,655.65 318,891.14
Energy 3.78 8,833.79 223,344.87
Apparel 2.02 1,024.96 28,123.97
New vehicles 1.04 250.34 8,758.55
Used cars and trucks 0.62 111.92 5,297.92
Transportation services 4.03 11,748.80 296,219.94
Medical care services 5.08 40,057.68 1,003,941.91
Medical care commodities 3.00 3,483.13 89,578.23

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1898. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $2,500 since 1898

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2019CPI in 1898
×
1898 USD value
=
2019 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 8.3 in the year 1898 and 256.558 in 2019:

256.5588.3
×
$2,500
=
$77,276.51

$2,500 in 1898 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $77,276.51 in 2019.

To get the total inflation rate for the 121 years between 1898 and 2019, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2019 - CPI in 1898CPI in 1898
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (121 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

256.558 - 8.38.3
×
100
=
2,991%

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 2.88% has a compounding effect between 1898 and 2019. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 2,991.06% over 121 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $2,500 in the S&P 500 index in 1898, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $213,777,996.57 in 2019. This is a return on investment of 8,551,019.86%, with an absolute return of $213,775,496.57.

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 96.76% of returns ($206,859,568.71) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $2,500 investment is $6,915,927.87.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1898-2019
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $2,500 $213,777,996.57 8,551,019.86%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$2,500 $6,915,927.87 276,637.11%


News headlines from 1898

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

  • Anglo-Egyptian forces defeat the Sudanese army in the Battle of Atbara River
  • Spanish-American War begins between U.S. and Spain after rising tensions and U.S. blockade of Cuba.
  • The diesel internal combustion engine is patented by Rudolf Diesel.
  • Radium is discovered by scientists Pierre and Marie Curie.

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: “$2,500 in 1898 → 2019 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 21 Sep. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1898?amount=2500.

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 1898 to 2019
Cumulative price change 2,991.06%
Average inflation rate 2.88%
Converted amount ($2,500 base) $77,276.51
Price difference ($2,500 base) $74,776.51
CPI in 1898 8.300
CPI in 2019 256.558
Inflation in 1898 0.00%
Inflation in 2019 1.75%
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