$2,500 in 1905 → $69,636.36 in 2017

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$2,500 in 1905 → $69,636.36 in 2017

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U.S. Inflation Rate, $2,500 in 1905 to 2017

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2017 are 2,685.45% higher than average prices throughout 1905. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.02% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, $2,500 in 1905 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $69,636.36 in 2017, a difference of $67,136.36 over 112 years.

The 1905 inflation rate was -1.12%. The inflation rate in 2017 was 2.13%. The 2017 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.44% per year between 2017 and 2019.


Inflation from 1905 to 2017
Cumulative price change 2,685.45%
Average inflation rate 3.02%
Converted amount ($2,500 base) $69,636.36
Price difference ($2,500 base) $67,136.36
CPI in 1905 8.800
CPI in 2017 245.120
Inflation in 1905 -1.12%
Inflation in 2017 2.13%

U.S. inflation chart since 1665


Buying power of $2,500 in 1905

This chart shows calculation of buying power equivalence, often referred to as "the value of a dollar" over time for $2,500 in 1905 (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
1905 $2,500.00 -1.12%
1906 $2,556.82 2.27%
1907 $2,670.45 4.44%
1908 $2,613.64 -2.13%
1909 $2,585.23 -1.09%
1910 $2,698.86 4.40%
1911 $2,698.86 0.00%
1912 $2,755.68 2.11%
1913 $2,812.50 2.06%
1914 $2,840.91 1.01%
1915 $2,869.32 1.00%
1916 $3,096.59 7.92%
1917 $3,636.36 17.43%
1918 $4,289.77 17.97%
1919 $4,914.77 14.57%
1920 $5,681.82 15.61%
1921 $5,085.23 -10.50%
1922 $4,772.73 -6.15%
1923 $4,857.95 1.79%
1924 $4,857.95 0.00%
1925 $4,971.59 2.34%
1926 $5,028.41 1.14%
1927 $4,943.18 -1.69%
1928 $4,857.95 -1.72%
1929 $4,857.95 0.00%
1930 $4,744.32 -2.34%
1931 $4,318.18 -8.98%
1932 $3,892.05 -9.87%
1933 $3,693.18 -5.11%
1934 $3,806.82 3.08%
1935 $3,892.05 2.24%
1936 $3,948.86 1.46%
1937 $4,090.91 3.60%
1938 $4,005.68 -2.08%
1939 $3,948.86 -1.42%
1940 $3,977.27 0.72%
1941 $4,176.14 5.00%
1942 $4,630.68 10.88%
1943 $4,914.77 6.13%
1944 $5,000.00 1.73%
1945 $5,113.64 2.27%
1946 $5,539.77 8.33%
1947 $6,335.23 14.36%
1948 $6,846.59 8.07%
1949 $6,761.36 -1.24%
1950 $6,846.59 1.26%
1951 $7,386.36 7.88%
1952 $7,528.41 1.92%
1953 $7,585.23 0.75%
1954 $7,642.05 0.75%
1955 $7,613.64 -0.37%
1956 $7,727.27 1.49%
1957 $7,982.95 3.31%
1958 $8,210.23 2.85%
1959 $8,267.05 0.69%
1960 $8,409.09 1.72%
1961 $8,494.32 1.01%
1962 $8,579.55 1.00%
1963 $8,693.18 1.32%
1964 $8,806.82 1.31%
1965 $8,948.86 1.61%
1966 $9,204.55 2.86%
1967 $9,488.64 3.09%
1968 $9,886.36 4.19%
1969 $10,426.14 5.46%
1970 $11,022.73 5.72%
1971 $11,505.68 4.38%
1972 $11,875.00 3.21%
1973 $12,613.64 6.22%
1974 $14,005.68 11.04%
1975 $15,284.09 9.13%
1976 $16,164.77 5.76%
1977 $17,215.91 6.50%
1978 $18,522.73 7.59%
1979 $20,625.00 11.35%
1980 $23,409.09 13.50%
1981 $25,823.86 10.32%
1982 $27,414.77 6.16%
1983 $28,295.45 3.21%
1984 $29,517.05 4.32%
1985 $30,568.18 3.56%
1986 $31,136.36 1.86%
1987 $32,272.73 3.65%
1988 $33,607.95 4.14%
1989 $35,227.27 4.82%
1990 $37,130.68 5.40%
1991 $38,693.18 4.21%
1992 $39,857.95 3.01%
1993 $41,051.14 2.99%
1994 $42,102.27 2.56%
1995 $43,295.45 2.83%
1996 $44,573.86 2.95%
1997 $45,596.59 2.29%
1998 $46,306.82 1.56%
1999 $47,329.55 2.21%
2000 $48,920.45 3.36%
2001 $50,312.50 2.85%
2002 $51,107.95 1.58%
2003 $52,272.73 2.28%
2004 $53,664.77 2.66%
2005 $55,482.95 3.39%
2006 $57,272.73 3.23%
2007 $58,903.98 2.85%
2008 $61,165.63 3.84%
2009 $60,948.01 -0.36%
2010 $61,947.73 1.64%
2011 $63,903.12 3.16%
2012 $65,225.57 2.07%
2013 $66,180.97 1.46%
2014 $67,254.55 1.62%
2015 $67,334.37 0.12%
2016 $68,183.81 1.26%
2017 $69,636.36 2.13%
2018 $71,337.17 2.44%
2019 $73,070.45 2.43%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
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Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £2,500.00 in 1905 would be equivalent to £288,951.61 in 2017, an absolute change of £286,451.61 and a cumulative change of 11,458.06%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $67,136.36 and total percent change of 2,685.45%.


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 1905 and 2017.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.02% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $2,500 in 1905 → 2017
Food and beverages 4.01 8,071.02 204,275.62
Housing 4.29 10,917.21 275,430.32
Apparel 2.07 893.26 24,831.54
Transportation 3.29 3,646.60 93,664.89
Medical care 5.21 29,583.73 742,093.18
Recreation 1.11 245.73 8,643.25
Education and communication 1.97 784.20 22,104.94
Other goods and services 5.15 27,711.81 695,295.31

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 1905. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $2,500, 1905 to 2017

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017CPI in 1905
×
1905 USD value
=
2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 8.8 in the year 1905 and 245.12 in 2017:

245.128.8
×
$2,500
=
$69,636.36

$2,500 in 1905 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $69,636.36 in 2017.

To get the total inflation rate for the 112 years between 1905 and 2017, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2017 - CPI in 1905CPI in 1905
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (112 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

245.12 - 8.88.8
×
100
=
2,685%

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 3.02% has a compounding effect between 1905 and 2017. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 2,685.45% over 112 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $2,500 in the S&P 500 index in 1905, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $87,609,001.46 in 2017. This is a return on investment of 3,504,260.06%, with an absolute return of $87,606,501.46 on top of the original $2,500.

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 96.41% of returns ($84,463,769.69) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $2,500 investment is $3,142,731.78. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $2,671,322 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1905-2017
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $2,500 $87,609,001.46 3,504,260.06%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$2,500 $3,145,231.78 125,709.27%

Information displayed above may differ slightly from other S&P 500 calculators. Minor discrepancies can occur because we use the latest CPI data for inflation, annualized inflation numbers for previous years, and we compute S&P price and dividends from January of 1905 to latest available data for 2017.


News headlines from 1905

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

  • The Industrial Workers of the World is formed. It is an American anarcho-syndicalist union.
  • Bloody Sunday in Russia: troops fire and kill protesters, mostly workers, marching to the Winter Palace in order to hand a petition to the Tsar.
  • Potemkin's arrival at Odessa leads to sailors joining civilians in the '1905 Revolution’.

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 1905 → 2017 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 13 Dec. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/1905-dollars-in-2017?amount=2500.

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.

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» Read more about inflation and investment.

Inflation from 1905 to 2017
Cumulative price change 2,685.45%
Average inflation rate 3.02%
Converted amount ($2,500 base) $69,636.36
Price difference ($2,500 base) $67,136.36
CPI in 1905 8.800
CPI in 2017 245.120
Inflation in 1905 -1.12%
Inflation in 2017 2.13%
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