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# \$100 in 1870 → \$1,809.29 in 2015

### U.S. Inflation Rate, \$100 in 1870 to 2015

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2015 are 1,709.29% higher than average prices since 1870. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.02% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, \$100 in 1870 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$1,809.29 in 2015, a difference of \$1,709.29 over 145 years.

The 1870 inflation rate was -3.68%. The inflation rate in 2015 was 0.12%. The 2015 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 1.63% per year between 2015 and 2020.

 Cumulative price change 1,709.29% Average inflation rate 2.02% Converted amount (\$100 base) \$1,809.29 Price difference (\$100 base) \$1,709.29 CPI in 1870 13.100 CPI in 2015 237.017 Inflation in 1870 -3.68% Inflation in 2015 0.12%

USD Inflation since 1635
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

### Buying power of \$100 in 1870

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$100 in 1870 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$100, you would need to end with \$1,809.29 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When \$100 is equivalent to \$1,809.29 over time, that means that the "real value" of a single U.S. dollar decreases over time. In other words, a dollar will pay for fewer items at the store.

This effect explains how inflation erodes the value of a dollar over time. By calculating the value in 1870 dollars, the chart below shows how \$100 buys less over the past 145 years.

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
1870 \$100.00 -3.68%
1871 \$93.13 -6.87%
1872 \$93.13 0.00%
1873 \$91.60 -1.64%
1874 \$87.02 -5.00%
1875 \$83.97 -3.51%
1876 \$81.68 -2.73%
1877 \$80.15 -1.87%
1878 \$76.34 -4.76%
1879 \$76.34 0.00%
1880 \$77.86 2.00%
1881 \$77.86 0.00%
1882 \$77.86 0.00%
1883 \$77.10 -0.98%
1884 \$74.81 -2.97%
1885 \$74.05 -1.02%
1886 \$71.76 -3.09%
1887 \$72.52 1.06%
1888 \$72.52 0.00%
1889 \$70.23 -3.16%
1890 \$69.47 -1.09%
1891 \$69.47 0.00%
1892 \$69.47 0.00%
1893 \$68.70 -1.10%
1894 \$65.65 -4.44%
1895 \$64.12 -2.33%
1896 \$64.12 0.00%
1897 \$63.36 -1.19%
1898 \$63.36 0.00%
1899 \$63.36 0.00%
1900 \$64.12 1.20%
1901 \$64.89 1.19%
1902 \$65.65 1.18%
1903 \$67.18 2.33%
1904 \$67.94 1.14%
1905 \$67.18 -1.12%
1906 \$68.70 2.27%
1907 \$71.76 4.44%
1908 \$70.23 -2.13%
1909 \$69.47 -1.09%
1910 \$72.52 4.40%
1911 \$72.52 0.00%
1912 \$74.05 2.11%
1913 \$75.57 2.06%
1914 \$76.34 1.01%
1915 \$77.10 1.00%
1916 \$83.21 7.92%
1917 \$97.71 17.43%
1918 \$115.27 17.97%
1919 \$132.06 14.57%
1920 \$152.67 15.61%
1921 \$136.64 -10.50%
1922 \$128.24 -6.15%
1923 \$130.53 1.79%
1924 \$130.53 0.00%
1925 \$133.59 2.34%
1926 \$135.11 1.14%
1927 \$132.82 -1.69%
1928 \$130.53 -1.72%
1929 \$130.53 0.00%
1930 \$127.48 -2.34%
1931 \$116.03 -8.98%
1932 \$104.58 -9.87%
1933 \$99.24 -5.11%
1934 \$102.29 3.08%
1935 \$104.58 2.24%
1936 \$106.11 1.46%
1937 \$109.92 3.60%
1938 \$107.63 -2.08%
1939 \$106.11 -1.42%
1940 \$106.87 0.72%
1941 \$112.21 5.00%
1942 \$124.43 10.88%
1943 \$132.06 6.13%
1944 \$134.35 1.73%
1945 \$137.40 2.27%
1946 \$148.85 8.33%
1947 \$170.23 14.36%
1948 \$183.97 8.07%
1949 \$181.68 -1.24%
1950 \$183.97 1.26%
1951 \$198.47 7.88%
1952 \$202.29 1.92%
1953 \$203.82 0.75%
1954 \$205.34 0.75%
1955 \$204.58 -0.37%
1956 \$207.63 1.49%
1957 \$214.50 3.31%
1958 \$220.61 2.85%
1959 \$222.14 0.69%
1960 \$225.95 1.72%
1961 \$228.24 1.01%
1962 \$230.53 1.00%
1963 \$233.59 1.32%
1964 \$236.64 1.31%
1965 \$240.46 1.61%
1966 \$247.33 2.86%
1967 \$254.96 3.09%
1968 \$265.65 4.19%
1969 \$280.15 5.46%
1970 \$296.18 5.72%
1971 \$309.16 4.38%
1972 \$319.08 3.21%
1973 \$338.93 6.22%
1974 \$376.34 11.04%
1975 \$410.69 9.13%
1976 \$434.35 5.76%
1977 \$462.60 6.50%
1978 \$497.71 7.59%
1979 \$554.20 11.35%
1980 \$629.01 13.50%
1981 \$693.89 10.32%
1982 \$736.64 6.16%
1983 \$760.31 3.21%
1984 \$793.13 4.32%
1985 \$821.37 3.56%
1986 \$836.64 1.86%
1987 \$867.18 3.65%
1988 \$903.05 4.14%
1989 \$946.56 4.82%
1990 \$997.71 5.40%
1991 \$1,039.69 4.21%
1992 \$1,070.99 3.01%
1993 \$1,103.05 2.99%
1994 \$1,131.30 2.56%
1995 \$1,163.36 2.83%
1996 \$1,197.71 2.95%
1997 \$1,225.19 2.29%
1998 \$1,244.27 1.56%
1999 \$1,271.76 2.21%
2000 \$1,314.50 3.36%
2001 \$1,351.91 2.85%
2002 \$1,373.28 1.58%
2003 \$1,404.58 2.28%
2004 \$1,441.98 2.66%
2005 \$1,490.84 3.39%
2006 \$1,538.93 3.23%
2007 \$1,582.76 2.85%
2008 \$1,643.53 3.84%
2009 \$1,637.69 -0.36%
2010 \$1,664.55 1.64%
2011 \$1,717.09 3.16%
2012 \$1,752.63 2.07%
2013 \$1,778.30 1.46%
2014 \$1,807.15 1.62%
2015 \$1,809.29 0.12%
2016 \$1,832.11 1.26%
2017 \$1,871.15 2.13%
2018 \$1,917.79 2.49%
2019 \$1,951.58 1.76%
2020 \$1,961.63 0.51%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 139 more rows

### Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £100.00 in 1870 would be equivalent to £10,736.84 in 2015, an absolute change of £10,636.84 and a cumulative change of 10,636.84%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$1,709.29 and total percent change of 1,709.29%.

### 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 1870 and 2015.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.02% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$100 in 1870 → 2015
Food and beverages 4.15 36,445.09 36,545.09
Housing 4.35 48,124.75 48,224.75
Apparel 2.11 1,977.68 2,077.68
Transportation 3.36 11,878.76 11,978.76
Medical care 5.28 172,794.32 172,894.32
Recreation 1.12 399.31 499.31
Education and communication 2.20 2,256.68 2,356.68
Other goods and services 5.28 174,279.08 174,379.08

The graph below compares inflation in categories of goods over time. Click on a category such as "Food" to toggle it on or off:

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 1870. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

### How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$100, 1870 to 2015

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2015CPI in 1870
×
1870 USD value
=
2015 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 13.1 in the year 1870 and 237.017 in 2015:

237.01713.1
×
\$100
=
\$1,809.29

\$100 in 1870 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$1,809.29 in 2015.

To get the total inflation rate for the 145 years between 1870 and 2015, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2015 - CPI in 1870CPI in 1870
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (145 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

237.017 - 13.113.1
×
100
=
1,709%

### News headlines from 1870

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

• New York begins building the Brooklyn Bridge (the bridge is completed in 1883).
• Austria inaugurates Wiener Musikverein, also known as the Great Hall, in Vienna.
• The Carson City mint, in Nevada, starts issuing coins.

### 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: “1870 dollars in 2015 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 17 Jan. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/1870-dollars-in-2015.

Special thanks to QuickChart for providing downloadable chart images.

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

#### About the author

Ian Webster is an engineer and data expert based in San Mateo, California. He has worked for Google, NASA, and consulted for governments around the world on data pipelines and data analysis. Disappointed by the lack of clear resources on the impacts of inflation on economic indicators, Ian believes this website serves as a valuable public tool. Ian earned his degree in Computer Science from Dartmouth College.

 Cumulative price change 1,709.29% Average inflation rate 2.02% Converted amount (\$100 base) \$1,809.29 Price difference (\$100 base) \$1,709.29 CPI in 1870 13.100 CPI in 2015 237.017 Inflation in 1870 -3.68% Inflation in 2015 0.12%