$550 in 1925 → $7,891.93 in 2018

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$550 in 1925 → $7,891.93 in 2018

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U.S. Inflation Rate, $550 in 1925 to 2018

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2018 are 1,334.90% higher than average prices throughout 1925. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.91% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, $550 in 1925 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $7,891.93 in 2018, a difference of $7,341.93 over 93 years.

The 1925 inflation rate was 2.34%. The inflation rate in 2018 was 2.44%. The 2018 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 2.43% per year between 2018 and 2019.


Inflation from 1925 to 2018
Cumulative price change 1,334.90%
Average inflation rate 2.91%
Converted amount ($550 base) $7,891.93
Price difference ($550 base) $7,341.93
CPI in 1925 17.500
CPI in 2018 251.107
Inflation in 1925 2.34%
Inflation in 2018 2.44%

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
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Buying power of $550 in 1925

This chart shows calculation of buying power equivalence, often referred to as "the value of a dollar" over time for $550 in 1925 (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
1925 $550.00 2.34%
1926 $556.29 1.14%
1927 $546.86 -1.69%
1928 $537.43 -1.72%
1929 $537.43 0.00%
1930 $524.86 -2.34%
1931 $477.71 -8.98%
1932 $430.57 -9.87%
1933 $408.57 -5.11%
1934 $421.14 3.08%
1935 $430.57 2.24%
1936 $436.86 1.46%
1937 $452.57 3.60%
1938 $443.14 -2.08%
1939 $436.86 -1.42%
1940 $440.00 0.72%
1941 $462.00 5.00%
1942 $512.29 10.88%
1943 $543.71 6.13%
1944 $553.14 1.73%
1945 $565.71 2.27%
1946 $612.86 8.33%
1947 $700.86 14.36%
1948 $757.43 8.07%
1949 $748.00 -1.24%
1950 $757.43 1.26%
1951 $817.14 7.88%
1952 $832.86 1.92%
1953 $839.14 0.75%
1954 $845.43 0.75%
1955 $842.29 -0.37%
1956 $854.86 1.49%
1957 $883.14 3.31%
1958 $908.29 2.85%
1959 $914.57 0.69%
1960 $930.29 1.72%
1961 $939.71 1.01%
1962 $949.14 1.00%
1963 $961.71 1.32%
1964 $974.29 1.31%
1965 $990.00 1.61%
1966 $1,018.29 2.86%
1967 $1,049.71 3.09%
1968 $1,093.71 4.19%
1969 $1,153.43 5.46%
1970 $1,219.43 5.72%
1971 $1,272.86 4.38%
1972 $1,313.71 3.21%
1973 $1,395.43 6.22%
1974 $1,549.43 11.04%
1975 $1,690.86 9.13%
1976 $1,788.29 5.76%
1977 $1,904.57 6.50%
1978 $2,049.14 7.59%
1979 $2,281.71 11.35%
1980 $2,589.71 13.50%
1981 $2,856.86 10.32%
1982 $3,032.86 6.16%
1983 $3,130.29 3.21%
1984 $3,265.43 4.32%
1985 $3,381.71 3.56%
1986 $3,444.57 1.86%
1987 $3,570.29 3.65%
1988 $3,718.00 4.14%
1989 $3,897.14 4.82%
1990 $4,107.71 5.40%
1991 $4,280.57 4.21%
1992 $4,409.43 3.01%
1993 $4,541.43 2.99%
1994 $4,657.71 2.56%
1995 $4,789.71 2.83%
1996 $4,931.14 2.95%
1997 $5,044.29 2.29%
1998 $5,122.86 1.56%
1999 $5,236.00 2.21%
2000 $5,412.00 3.36%
2001 $5,566.00 2.85%
2002 $5,654.00 1.58%
2003 $5,782.86 2.28%
2004 $5,936.86 2.66%
2005 $6,138.00 3.39%
2006 $6,336.00 3.23%
2007 $6,516.46 2.85%
2008 $6,766.67 3.84%
2009 $6,742.59 -0.36%
2010 $6,853.19 1.64%
2011 $7,069.51 3.16%
2012 $7,215.81 2.07%
2013 $7,321.51 1.46%
2014 $7,440.27 1.62%
2015 $7,449.11 0.12%
2016 $7,543.08 1.26%
2017 $7,703.77 2.13%
2018 $7,891.93 2.44%
2019 $8,083.68 2.43%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
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Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1925 to 2018 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $550):

  • San Francisco, California: 3.22% average rate, $550 → $10,466.72, cumulative change of 1,803.04%
  • Seattle, Washington: 3.10% average rate, $550 → $9,406.37, cumulative change of 1,610.25%
  • Boston, Massachusetts: 3.00% average rate, $550 → $8,598.13, cumulative change of 1,463.30%
  • New York: 2.98% average rate, $550 → $8,471.05, cumulative change of 1,440.19%
  • Houston, Texas: 2.88% average rate, $550 → $7,726.56, cumulative change of 1,304.83%
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 2.86% average rate, $550 → $7,573.15, cumulative change of 1,276.94%
  • Atlanta, Georgia: 2.84% average rate, $550 → $7,413.77, cumulative change of 1,247.96%
  • Chicago, Illinois: 2.81% average rate, $550 → $7,219.79, cumulative change of 1,212.69%
  • Detroit, Michigan: 2.78% average rate, $550 → $7,031.48, cumulative change of 1,178.45%

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 93 years between 1925 and 2018 (3.22%).

Detroit, Michigan experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 93 years between 1925 and 2018 (2.78%).

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 £550.00 in 1925 would be equivalent to £32,574.00 in 2018, an absolute change of £32,024.00 and a cumulative change of 5,822.54%.

In Canada, CA$550.00 in 1925 would be equivalent to CA$7,735.48 in 2018, an absolute change of CA$7,185.48 and a cumulative change of 1,306.45%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $7,341.93 and total percent change of 1,334.90%.


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 1925 and 2018.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.91% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $550 in 1925 → 2018
Food and beverages 3.96 3,596.49 20,330.72
Housing 4.26 4,740.92 26,625.03
Apparel 1.70 377.77 2,627.75
Transportation 3.30 1,953.15 11,292.35
Medical care 5.17 10,746.22 59,654.20
Recreation 1.09 173.80 1,505.92
Education and communication 1.89 472.60 3,149.31
Other goods and services 5.10 10,071.86 55,945.24

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 1925. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $550, 1925 to 2018

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018CPI in 1925
×
1925 USD value
=
2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 17.5 in the year 1925 and 251.10683333333 in 2018:

251.1068333333317.5
×
$550
=
$7,891.93

$550 in 1925 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $7,891.93 in 2018.

To get the total inflation rate for the 93 years between 1925 and 2018, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2018 - CPI in 1925CPI in 1925
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (93 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

251.10683333333 - 17.517.5
×
100
=
1,335%

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 2.91% has a compounding effect between 1925 and 2018. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 1,334.90% over 93 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $550 in the S&P 500 index in 1925, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $4,739,963.78 in 2018. This is a return on investment of 861,711.60%, with an absolute return of $4,739,413.78 on top of the original $550.

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 93.03% of returns ($4,409,628.82) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $550 investment is $329,784.96. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $280,317 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1925-2018
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $550 $4,739,963.78 861,711.60%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$550 $330,334.96 59,960.90%

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 1925 to latest available data for 2018.


News headlines from 1925

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

  • Mein Kampf is published by Adolf Hitler.
  • The Ku Klux Klan's first national march takes place in Washington.
  • The last Qajar Shah of Iran is deposed with Reza Shah Pahlavi taking over.
  • Scopes monkey trial ends in Dayton, Tennessee, finding John T. Scopes guilty of teaching evolution.

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: “$550 in 1925 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 16 Dec. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/1925-dollars-in-2018?amount=550.

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 1925 to 2018
Cumulative price change 1,334.90%
Average inflation rate 2.91%
Converted amount ($550 base) $7,891.93
Price difference ($550 base) $7,341.93
CPI in 1925 17.500
CPI in 2018 251.107
Inflation in 1925 2.34%
Inflation in 2018 2.44%
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