$2 in 1952 is worth $17.89 in 2015

Value of $2 from 1952 to 2015

$2 in 1952 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $17.89 in 2015, an increase of $15.89 over 63 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 3.54% per year between 1952 and 2015, producing a cumulative price increase of 794.40%.

This means that prices in 2015 are 8.94 times higher than average prices since 1952, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The 1952 inflation rate was 1.92%. The inflation rate in 2015 was 0.12%. The 2015 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.42% per year between 2015 and 2021.


Inflation from 1952 to 2015
Cumulative price change 794.40%
Average inflation rate 3.54%
Converted amount ($2 base) $17.89
Price difference ($2 base) $15.89
CPI in 1952 26.500
CPI in 2015 237.017
Inflation in 1952 1.92%
Inflation in 2015 0.12%
$2 in 1952 $17.89 in 2015

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

Buying power of $2 in 1952

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $2 in 1952 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $2, you would need to end with $17.89 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $2 is equivalent to $17.89 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 1952 dollars, the chart below shows how $2 is worth less over 63 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: 1952-2015
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1952 $2.00 1.92%
1953 $2.02 0.75%
1954 $2.03 0.75%
1955 $2.02 -0.37%
1956 $2.05 1.49%
1957 $2.12 3.31%
1958 $2.18 2.85%
1959 $2.20 0.69%
1960 $2.23 1.72%
1961 $2.26 1.01%
1962 $2.28 1.00%
1963 $2.31 1.32%
1964 $2.34 1.31%
1965 $2.38 1.61%
1966 $2.45 2.86%
1967 $2.52 3.09%
1968 $2.63 4.19%
1969 $2.77 5.46%
1970 $2.93 5.72%
1971 $3.06 4.38%
1972 $3.15 3.21%
1973 $3.35 6.22%
1974 $3.72 11.04%
1975 $4.06 9.13%
1976 $4.29 5.76%
1977 $4.57 6.50%
1978 $4.92 7.59%
1979 $5.48 11.35%
1980 $6.22 13.50%
1981 $6.86 10.32%
1982 $7.28 6.16%
1983 $7.52 3.21%
1984 $7.84 4.32%
1985 $8.12 3.56%
1986 $8.27 1.86%
1987 $8.57 3.65%
1988 $8.93 4.14%
1989 $9.36 4.82%
1990 $9.86 5.40%
1991 $10.28 4.21%
1992 $10.59 3.01%
1993 $10.91 2.99%
1994 $11.18 2.56%
1995 $11.50 2.83%
1996 $11.84 2.95%
1997 $12.11 2.29%
1998 $12.30 1.56%
1999 $12.57 2.21%
2000 $13.00 3.36%
2001 $13.37 2.85%
2002 $13.58 1.58%
2003 $13.89 2.28%
2004 $14.26 2.66%
2005 $14.74 3.39%
2006 $15.22 3.23%
2007 $15.65 2.85%
2008 $16.25 3.84%
2009 $16.19 -0.36%
2010 $16.46 1.64%
2011 $16.98 3.16%
2012 $17.33 2.07%
2013 $17.58 1.46%
2014 $17.87 1.62%
2015 $17.89 0.12%
2016 $18.11 1.26%
2017 $18.50 2.13%
2018 $18.96 2.49%
2019 $19.29 1.76%
2020 $19.53 1.23%
2021 $20.65 5.70%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 57 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1952 amounts in 2015 dollars, based on the 794.40% change in prices:

Conversion: 1952 dollars in 2015
Initial value Equivalent value
$1 dollar in 1952 $8.94 dollars in 2015
$5 dollars in 1952 $44.72 dollars in 2015
$10 dollars in 1952 $89.44 dollars in 2015
$50 dollars in 1952 $447.20 dollars in 2015
$100 dollars in 1952 $894.40 dollars in 2015
$500 dollars in 1952 $4,472.02 dollars in 2015
$1,000 dollars in 1952 $8,944.04 dollars in 2015
$5,000 dollars in 1952 $44,720.19 dollars in 2015
$10,000 dollars in 1952 $89,440.38 dollars in 2015
$50,000 dollars in 1952 $447,201.89 dollars in 2015
$100,000 dollars in 1952 $894,403.77 dollars in 2015
$500,000 dollars in 1952 $4,472,018.87 dollars in 2015
$1,000,000 dollars in 1952 $8,944,037.74 dollars in 2015

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1952 to 2015 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $2):

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 63 years between 1952 and 2015 (3.80%).

Detroit, Michigan experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 63 years between 1952 and 2015 (3.37%).

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 £2.00 in 1952 would be equivalent to £51.91 in 2015, an absolute change of £49.91 and a cumulative change of 2,495.42%.

In Canada, CA$2.00 in 1952 would be equivalent to CA$17.94 in 2015, an absolute change of CA$15.94 and a cumulative change of 797.16%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $15.89 and total percent change of 794.40%.


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 1952 and 2015.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.54% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $2 in 1952 → 2015
Food and beverages 4.15 1,198.70 25.97
Housing 4.35 1,364.99 29.30
Apparel 1.70 189.74 5.79
Transportation 3.30 673.65 15.47
Medical care 5.36 2,575.16 53.50
Recreation 1.12 101.11 4.02
Education and communication 2.20 294.68 7.89
Other goods and services 5.28 2,460.79 51.22

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 1952. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $2, 1952 to 2015

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1952 and 2015:

CPI in 2015 CPI in 1952
×
1952 USD value
=
2015 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 26.5 in the year 1952 and 237.017 in 2015:

237.01726.5
×
$2
=
$17.89

$2 in 1952 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $17.89 in 2015.

To get the total inflation rate for the 63 years between 1952 and 2015, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2015 - CPI in 1952CPI in 1952
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (63 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

237.017 - 26.526.5
×
100
=
794%

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 3.54% has a compounding effect between 1952 and 2015. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 794.40% over 63 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $2 in the S&P 500 index in 1952, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $1,192.30 in 2015. This is a return on investment of 59,514.82%, with an absolute return of $1,190.30 on top of the original $2.

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 88.82% of returns ($1,058.99) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $2 investment is $131.31. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $112 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1952-2015
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $2 $1,192.30 59,514.82%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$2 $133.31 6,565.31%

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 1952 to latest available data for 2015 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 1952 and 2015, see the stock market returns calculator.


News headlines from 1952

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

  • Queen Elizabeth II's succeeds King George VI to the British throne.
  • The concept of the integrated circuit, the basis of modern computers, is published for the first time by Geoffrey Dummer.

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 in 1952 → 2015 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 27 Sep. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/1952-dollars-in-2015?amount=2.

Special thanks to QuickChart for their chart image API, which is used for chart downloads.

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


Ian Webster

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 1952 to 2015
Cumulative price change 794.40%
Average inflation rate 3.54%
Converted amount ($2 base) $17.89
Price difference ($2 base) $15.89
CPI in 1952 26.500
CPI in 2015 237.017
Inflation in 1952 1.92%
Inflation in 2015 0.12%
$2 in 1952 $17.89 in 2015