$1,539 in 1963 is worth $12,328.09 in 2017

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Value of $1,539 from 1963 to 2017

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2017 are 701.05% higher than average prices since 1963. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.93% per year during this period, causing the real value of a dollar to decrease.

In other words, $1,539 in 1963 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $12,328.09 in 2017, a difference of $10,789.09 over 54 years.

The 1963 inflation rate was 1.32%. The inflation rate in 2017 was 2.13%. The 2017 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 1.51% per year between 2017 and 2020.


Inflation from 1963 to 2017
Cumulative price change 701.05%
Average inflation rate 3.93%
Converted amount ($1,539 base) $12,328.09
Price difference ($1,539 base) $10,789.09
CPI in 1963 30.600
CPI in 2017 245.120
Inflation in 1963 1.32%
Inflation in 2017 2.13%

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
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Buying power of $1,539 in 1963

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $1,539 in 1963 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $1,539, you would need to end with $12,328.09 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $1,539 is equivalent to $12,328.09 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 1963 dollars, the chart below shows how $1,539 is worth less over 54 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: 1963-2017
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1963 $1,539.00 1.32%
1964 $1,559.12 1.31%
1965 $1,584.26 1.61%
1966 $1,629.53 2.86%
1967 $1,679.82 3.09%
1968 $1,750.24 4.19%
1969 $1,845.79 5.46%
1970 $1,951.41 5.72%
1971 $2,036.91 4.38%
1972 $2,102.29 3.21%
1973 $2,233.06 6.22%
1974 $2,479.50 11.04%
1975 $2,705.82 9.13%
1976 $2,861.74 5.76%
1977 $3,047.82 6.50%
1978 $3,279.18 7.59%
1979 $3,651.35 11.35%
1980 $4,144.24 13.50%
1981 $4,571.74 10.32%
1982 $4,853.38 6.16%
1983 $5,009.29 3.21%
1984 $5,225.56 4.32%
1985 $5,411.65 3.56%
1986 $5,512.24 1.86%
1987 $5,713.41 3.65%
1988 $5,949.79 4.14%
1989 $6,236.47 4.82%
1990 $6,573.44 5.40%
1991 $6,850.06 4.21%
1992 $7,056.26 3.01%
1993 $7,267.50 2.99%
1994 $7,453.59 2.56%
1995 $7,664.82 2.83%
1996 $7,891.15 2.95%
1997 $8,072.21 2.29%
1998 $8,197.94 1.56%
1999 $8,379.00 2.21%
2000 $8,660.65 3.36%
2001 $8,907.09 2.85%
2002 $9,047.91 1.58%
2003 $9,254.12 2.28%
2004 $9,500.56 2.66%
2005 $9,822.44 3.39%
2006 $10,139.29 3.23%
2007 $10,428.08 2.85%
2008 $10,828.47 3.84%
2009 $10,789.95 -0.36%
2010 $10,966.93 1.64%
2011 $11,313.11 3.16%
2012 $11,547.23 2.07%
2013 $11,716.37 1.46%
2014 $11,906.43 1.62%
2015 $11,920.56 0.12%
2016 $12,070.94 1.26%
2017 $12,328.09 2.13%
2018 $12,635.39 2.49%
2019 $12,858.07 1.76%
2020 $12,895.11 0.29%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 48 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1963 amounts in 2017 dollars, based on the 701.05% change in prices:

Conversion Table: Value of a dollar in 2017
Initial value Equivalent value
$1 dollar in 1963 $8.01 dollars in 2017
$5 dollars in 1963 $40.05 dollars in 2017
$10 dollars in 1963 $80.10 dollars in 2017
$50 dollars in 1963 $400.52 dollars in 2017
$100 dollars in 1963 $801.05 dollars in 2017
$500 dollars in 1963 $4,005.23 dollars in 2017
$1,000 dollars in 1963 $8,010.46 dollars in 2017
$5,000 dollars in 1963 $40,052.29 dollars in 2017
$10,000 dollars in 1963 $80,104.58 dollars in 2017
$50,000 dollars in 1963 $400,522.88 dollars in 2017
$100,000 dollars in 1963 $801,045.75 dollars in 2017
$500,000 dollars in 1963 $4,005,228.76 dollars in 2017
$1,000,000 dollars in 1963 $8,010,457.52 dollars in 2017

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1963 to 2017 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $1,539):

  • San Francisco, California: 4.20% average rate, $1,539 → $14,212.52, cumulative change of 823.49%
  • Seattle, Washington: 4.09% average rate, $1,539 → $13,380.85, cumulative change of 769.45%
  • New York: 4.04% average rate, $1,539 → $13,077.62, cumulative change of 749.75%
  • Boston, Massachusetts: 4.04% average rate, $1,539 → $13,072.12, cumulative change of 749.39%
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 3.88% average rate, $1,539 → $12,033.74, cumulative change of 681.92%
  • Atlanta, Georgia: 3.85% average rate, $1,539 → $11,840.46, cumulative change of 669.36%
  • Houston, Texas: 3.85% average rate, $1,539 → $11,821.31, cumulative change of 668.12%
  • Detroit, Michigan: 3.80% average rate, $1,539 → $11,546.50, cumulative change of 650.26%
  • Chicago, Illinois: 3.80% average rate, $1,539 → $11,544.91, cumulative change of 650.16%

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 54 years between 1963 and 2017 (4.20%).

Chicago, Illinois experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 54 years between 1963 and 2017 (3.80%).

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 £1,539.00 in 1963 would be equivalent to £30,634.65 in 2017, an absolute change of £29,095.65 and a cumulative change of 1,890.56%.

In Canada, CA$1,539.00 in 1963 would be equivalent to CA$12,312.00 in 2017, an absolute change of CA$10,773.00 and a cumulative change of 700.00%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $10,789.09 and total percent change of 701.05%.


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 1963 and 2017.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.93% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1,539 in 1963 → 2017
Food and beverages 4.01 735.60 12,859.84
Housing 4.29 865.11 14,852.97
Apparel 1.84 167.92 4,123.25
Transportation 3.53 551.83 10,031.62
Medical care 5.68 1,873.66 30,374.65
Recreation 1.11 81.86 2,798.83
Education and communication 1.97 186.02 4,401.82
Other goods and services 5.15 1,408.23 23,211.73

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 1963. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1,539, 1963 to 2017

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1963 and 2017:

CPI in 2017 CPI in 1963
×
1963 USD value
=
2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 30.6 in the year 1963 and 245.12 in 2017:

245.1230.6
×
$1,539
=
$12,328.09

$1,539 in 1963 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $12,328.09 in 2017.

To get the total inflation rate for the 54 years between 1963 and 2017, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2017 - CPI in 1963CPI in 1963
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (54 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

245.12 - 30.630.6
×
100
=
701%

Alternate Measurements of Inflation

The above data describe the CPI for all items. Also of note is the Core CPI, which measures inflation for all items except for the more volatile categories of food and energy. Core inflation averaged 3.91% per year between 1963 and 2017 (vs all-CPI inflation of 3.93%), for an inflation total of 692.99%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $1,539 in 1963 is equivalent in buying power to $12,204.04 in 2017, a difference of $10,665.04. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $12,328.09 with a difference of $10,789.09.

In 1963, core inflation was 1.25%.


Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 3.93% has a compounding effect between 1963 and 2017. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 701.05% over 54 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $1,539 in the S&P 500 index in 1963, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $330,502.24 in 2017. This is a return on investment of 21,375.13%, with an absolute return of $328,963.24 on top of the original $1,539.

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 87.52% of returns ($289,243.39) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $1,539 investment is $39,719.85. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $33,762 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1963-2017
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $1,539 $330,502.24 21,375.13%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$1,539 $41,258.85 2,580.89%

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 1963 to latest available data for 2017 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 1963 and 2017, see the stock market returns calculator.


News headlines from 1963

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

  • Iran is besieged and Ayatollah Khomeini is arrested.
  • President John F. Kennedy says segregation is morally wrong and appeals for action.
  • Sarawak is granted independence from British colonial rule.
  • The "I have a dream" speech is delivered by Martin Luther King Jr addressing civil rights march in Washington.
  • John F. Kennedy is assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas.

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: “$1,539 in 1963 → 2017 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 9 Jul. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/1963-dollars-in-2017?amount=1539.

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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Inflation from 1963 to 2017
Cumulative price change 701.05%
Average inflation rate 3.93%
Converted amount ($1,539 base) $12,328.09
Price difference ($1,539 base) $10,789.09
CPI in 1963 30.600
CPI in 2017 245.120
Inflation in 1963 1.32%
Inflation in 2017 2.13%