# \$25,000 in 1918 is worth \$397,362.58 in 2016

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## Value of \$25,000 from 1918 to 2016

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2016 are 1,489.45% higher than average prices since 1918. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.86% per year during this period, causing the real value of a dollar to decrease.

In other words, \$25,000 in 1918 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$397,362.58 in 2016, a difference of \$372,362.58 over 98 years.

The 1918 inflation rate was 17.97%. The inflation rate in 2016 was 1.26%. The 2016 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 1.66% per year between 2016 and 2020.

 Cumulative price change 1,489.45% Average inflation rate 2.86% Converted amount (\$25,000 base) \$397,362.58 Price difference (\$25,000 base) \$372,362.58 CPI in 1918 15.100 CPI in 2016 240.007 Inflation in 1918 17.97% Inflation in 2016 1.26%

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

## Buying power of \$25,000 in 1918

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$25,000 in 1918 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$25,000, you would need to end with \$397,362.58 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When \$25,000 is equivalent to \$397,362.58 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 1918 dollars, the chart below shows how \$25,000 is worth less over 98 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:

Dollar inflation: 1918-2016
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1918 \$25,000.00 17.97%
1919 \$28,642.38 14.57%
1920 \$33,112.58 15.61%
1921 \$29,635.76 -10.50%
1922 \$27,814.57 -6.15%
1923 \$28,311.26 1.79%
1924 \$28,311.26 0.00%
1925 \$28,973.51 2.34%
1926 \$29,304.64 1.14%
1927 \$28,807.95 -1.69%
1928 \$28,311.26 -1.72%
1929 \$28,311.26 0.00%
1930 \$27,649.01 -2.34%
1931 \$25,165.56 -8.98%
1932 \$22,682.12 -9.87%
1933 \$21,523.18 -5.11%
1934 \$22,185.43 3.08%
1935 \$22,682.12 2.24%
1936 \$23,013.25 1.46%
1937 \$23,841.06 3.60%
1938 \$23,344.37 -2.08%
1939 \$23,013.25 -1.42%
1940 \$23,178.81 0.72%
1941 \$24,337.75 5.00%
1942 \$26,986.75 10.88%
1943 \$28,642.38 6.13%
1944 \$29,139.07 1.73%
1945 \$29,801.32 2.27%
1946 \$32,284.77 8.33%
1947 \$36,920.53 14.36%
1948 \$39,900.66 8.07%
1949 \$39,403.97 -1.24%
1950 \$39,900.66 1.26%
1951 \$43,046.36 7.88%
1952 \$43,874.17 1.92%
1953 \$44,205.30 0.75%
1954 \$44,536.42 0.75%
1955 \$44,370.86 -0.37%
1956 \$45,033.11 1.49%
1957 \$46,523.18 3.31%
1958 \$47,847.68 2.85%
1959 \$48,178.81 0.69%
1960 \$49,006.62 1.72%
1961 \$49,503.31 1.01%
1962 \$50,000.00 1.00%
1963 \$50,662.25 1.32%
1964 \$51,324.50 1.31%
1965 \$52,152.32 1.61%
1966 \$53,642.38 2.86%
1967 \$55,298.01 3.09%
1968 \$57,615.89 4.19%
1969 \$60,761.59 5.46%
1970 \$64,238.41 5.72%
1971 \$67,052.98 4.38%
1972 \$69,205.30 3.21%
1973 \$73,509.93 6.22%
1974 \$81,622.52 11.04%
1975 \$89,072.85 9.13%
1976 \$94,205.30 5.76%
1977 \$100,331.13 6.50%
1978 \$107,947.02 7.59%
1979 \$120,198.68 11.35%
1980 \$136,423.84 13.50%
1981 \$150,496.69 10.32%
1982 \$159,768.21 6.16%
1983 \$164,900.66 3.21%
1984 \$172,019.87 4.32%
1985 \$178,145.70 3.56%
1986 \$181,456.95 1.86%
1987 \$188,079.47 3.65%
1988 \$195,860.93 4.14%
1989 \$205,298.01 4.82%
1990 \$216,390.73 5.40%
1991 \$225,496.69 4.21%
1992 \$232,284.77 3.01%
1993 \$239,238.41 2.99%
1994 \$245,364.24 2.56%
1995 \$252,317.88 2.83%
1996 \$259,768.21 2.95%
1997 \$265,728.48 2.29%
1998 \$269,867.55 1.56%
1999 \$275,827.81 2.21%
2000 \$285,099.34 3.36%
2001 \$293,211.92 2.85%
2002 \$297,847.68 1.58%
2003 \$304,635.76 2.28%
2004 \$312,748.34 2.66%
2005 \$323,344.37 3.39%
2006 \$333,774.83 3.23%
2007 \$343,281.46 2.85%
2008 \$356,461.92 3.84%
2009 \$355,193.71 -0.36%
2010 \$361,019.87 1.64%
2011 \$372,415.56 3.16%
2012 \$380,122.52 2.07%
2013 \$385,690.40 1.46%
2014 \$391,947.02 1.62%
2015 \$392,412.25 0.12%
2016 \$397,362.58 1.26%
2017 \$405,827.81 2.13%
2018 \$415,943.71 2.49%
2019 \$423,274.01 1.76%
2020 \$424,485.10 0.29%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 92 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1918 amounts in 2016 dollars, based on the 1,489.45% change in prices:

Conversion Table: Value of a dollar in 2016
Initial value Equivalent value
\$1 dollar in 1918 \$15.89 dollars in 2016
\$5 dollars in 1918 \$79.47 dollars in 2016
\$10 dollars in 1918 \$158.95 dollars in 2016
\$50 dollars in 1918 \$794.73 dollars in 2016
\$100 dollars in 1918 \$1,589.45 dollars in 2016
\$500 dollars in 1918 \$7,947.25 dollars in 2016
\$1,000 dollars in 1918 \$15,894.50 dollars in 2016
\$5,000 dollars in 1918 \$79,472.52 dollars in 2016
\$10,000 dollars in 1918 \$158,945.03 dollars in 2016
\$50,000 dollars in 1918 \$794,725.17 dollars in 2016
\$100,000 dollars in 1918 \$1,589,450.33 dollars in 2016
\$500,000 dollars in 1918 \$7,947,251.66 dollars in 2016
\$1,000,000 dollars in 1918 \$15,894,503.31 dollars in 2016

## Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1918 to 2016 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of \$25,000):

• San Francisco, California: 3.23% average rate, \$25,000 → \$563,250.18, cumulative change of 2,153.00%
• Seattle, Washington: 3.16% average rate, \$25,000 → \$526,276.17, cumulative change of 2,005.10%
• New York: 3.04% average rate, \$25,000 → \$468,620.85, cumulative change of 1,774.48%
• Boston, Massachusetts: 2.99% average rate, \$25,000 → \$450,055.33, cumulative change of 1,700.22%
• Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 2.94% average rate, \$25,000 → \$427,432.74, cumulative change of 1,609.73%
• Chicago, Illinois: 2.91% average rate, \$25,000 → \$417,418.23, cumulative change of 1,569.67%
• Houston, Texas: 2.88% average rate, \$25,000 → \$402,685.29, cumulative change of 1,510.74%
• Detroit, Michigan: 2.82% average rate, \$25,000 → \$382,208.98, cumulative change of 1,428.84%
• Atlanta, Georgia: 2.77% average rate, \$25,000 → \$364,501.35, cumulative change of 1,358.01%

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 98 years between 1918 and 2016 (3.23%).

Atlanta, Georgia experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 98 years between 1918 and 2016 (2.77%).

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 £25,000.00 in 1918 would be equivalent to £1,303,643.22 in 2016, an absolute change of £1,278,643.22 and a cumulative change of 5,114.57%.

In Canada, CA\$25,000.00 in 1918 would be equivalent to CA\$341,489.36 in 2016, an absolute change of CA\$316,489.36 and a cumulative change of 1,265.96%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$372,362.58 and total percent change of 1,489.45%.

## Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. Breaking down these categories helps explain the main drivers behind price changes. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1918 and 2016.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.86% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$25,000 in 1918 → 2016
Food and beverages 4.07 4,908.99 1,252,247.98
Housing 4.31 6,178.02 1,569,504.22
Apparel 1.49 326.55 106,637.32
Transportation 3.29 2,278.19 594,546.45
Medical care 5.25 15,018.45 3,779,612.13
Recreation 1.11 193.78 73,444.14
Education and communication 2.14 693.47 198,368.60
Other goods and services 5.21 14,455.98 3,638,993.81

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 1918. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

## How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$25,000, 1918 to 2016

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1918 and 2016:

CPI in 2016 CPI in 1918
×
1918 USD value
=
2016 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 15.1 in the year 1918 and 240.007 in 2016:

240.00715.1
×
\$25,000
=
\$397,362.58

\$25,000 in 1918 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$397,362.58 in 2016.

To get the total inflation rate for the 98 years between 1918 and 2016, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2016 - CPI in 1918CPI in 1918
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (98 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

240.007 - 15.115.1
×
100
=
1,489%

## Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 2.86% has a compounding effect between 1918 and 2016. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 1,489.45% over 98 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested \$25,000 in the S&P 500 index in 1918, our investment would be nominally worth approximately \$419,695,005.22 in 2016. This is a return on investment of 1,678,680.02%, with an absolute return of \$419,670,005.22 on top of the original \$25,000.

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 93.71% of returns (\$393,289,964.62) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our \$25,000 investment is \$26,380,040.60. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around \$22,423,035 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1918-2016
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal \$25,000 \$419,695,005.22 1,678,680.02%
Real
\$25,000 \$26,405,040.60 105,520.16%

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 1918 to latest available data for 2016 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 1918 and 2016, see the stock market returns calculator.

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

• First recorded case of Spanish flu in Kansas, marking the beginning of a worldwide pandemic killing millions.
• The Bolshevik Party changes its name to the Communist Party.
• Moscow is declared the capital of Russia.
• Tsar Nicholas II of Russia is executed along with his family by a Bolshevik squad in Ekaterinburg.

## 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: “\$25,000 in 1918 → 2016 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 2 Jun. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/1918-dollars-in-2016?amount=25000.