$200 in 1970 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1,221.74 in 2015, an increase of $1,021.74 over 45 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 4.10% per year between 1970 and 2015, producing a cumulative price increase of 510.87%.

This means that prices in 2015 are 6.11 times higher than average prices since 1970, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The 1970 inflation rate was 5.72%. 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.

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Cumulative price change | 510.87% |

Average inflation rate | 4.10% |

Converted amount ($200 base) | $1,221.74 |

Price difference ($200 base) | $1,021.74 |

CPI in 1970 | 38.800 |

CPI in 2015 | 237.017 |

Inflation in 1970 | 5.72% |

Inflation in 2015 | 0.12% |

$200 in 1970 | $1,221.74 in 2015 |

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $200 in 1970 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $200, you would need to end with $1,221.74 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $200 is equivalent to $1,221.74 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 1970 dollars, the chart below shows how $200 is worth less over 45 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:

This conversion table shows various other 1970 amounts in 2015 dollars, based on the 510.87% change in prices:

Initial value | Equivalent value |
---|---|

$1 dollar in 1970 | $6.11 dollars in 2015 |

$5 dollars in 1970 | $30.54 dollars in 2015 |

$10 dollars in 1970 | $61.09 dollars in 2015 |

$50 dollars in 1970 | $305.43 dollars in 2015 |

$100 dollars in 1970 | $610.87 dollars in 2015 |

$500 dollars in 1970 | $3,054.34 dollars in 2015 |

$1,000 dollars in 1970 | $6,108.69 dollars in 2015 |

$5,000 dollars in 1970 | $30,543.43 dollars in 2015 |

$10,000 dollars in 1970 | $61,086.86 dollars in 2015 |

$50,000 dollars in 1970 | $305,434.28 dollars in 2015 |

$100,000 dollars in 1970 | $610,868.56 dollars in 2015 |

$500,000 dollars in 1970 | $3,054,342.78 dollars in 2015 |

$1,000,000 dollars in 1970 | $6,108,685.57 dollars in 2015 |

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1970 to 2015 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $200):

**San Francisco, California**: 4.38% average rate, $200 → $1,375.24, cumulative change of 587.62%**Seattle, Washington**: 4.31% average rate, $200 → $1,336.52, cumulative change of 568.26%**Boston, Massachusetts**: 4.22% average rate, $200 → $1,285.32, cumulative change of 542.66%**New York**: 4.19% average rate, $200 → $1,266.38, cumulative change of 533.19%**Philadelphia, Pennsylvania**: 4.05% average rate, $200 → $1,195.97, cumulative change of 497.98%**Houston, Texas**: 4.01% average rate, $200 → $1,174.72, cumulative change of 487.36%**Chicago, Illinois**: 4.00% average rate, $200 → $1,170.67, cumulative change of 485.33%**Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas**: 3.99% average rate, $200 → $1,161.32, cumulative change of 480.66%**Atlanta, Georgia**: 3.97% average rate, $200 → $1,152.74, cumulative change of 476.37%**Detroit, Michigan**: 3.88% average rate, $200 → $1,107.96, cumulative change of 453.98%

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 45 years between 1970 and 2015 (4.38%).

Detroit, Michigan experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 45 years between 1970 and 2015 (3.88%).

Note that some locations showing 0% inflation may have not yet reported latest data.

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £200.00 in 1970 would be equivalent to £2,790.70 in 2015, an absolute change of £2,590.70 and a cumulative change of 1,295.35%.

In Canada, CA$200.00 in 1970 would be equivalent to CA$1,246.31 in 2015, an absolute change of CA$1,046.31 and a cumulative change of 523.15%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $1,021.74 and total percent change of 510.87%.

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 1970 and 2015.

Compare these values to the overall average of 4.10% per year:

Category | Avg Inflation (%) | Total Inflation (%) | $200 in 1970 → 2015 |
---|---|---|---|

Food and beverages | 4.12 | 515.09 | 1,230.18 |

Housing | 4.26 | 554.61 | 1,309.22 |

Apparel | 1.69 | 112.76 | 425.51 |

Transportation | 3.78 | 430.95 | 1,061.91 |

Medical care | 5.89 | 1,215.76 | 2,631.53 |

Recreation | 1.12 | 64.72 | 329.44 |

Education and communication | 2.20 | 166.62 | 533.24 |

Other goods and services | 5.28 | 912.77 | 2,025.54 |

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 1970. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1970 and 2015:

CPI in 2015
CPI in 1970

×

1970 USD value

=

2015 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 38.8 in the year 1970 and 237.017 in 2015:

237.01738.8

×

$200

=

$200 in 1970 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1,221.74 in 2015.

To get the total inflation rate for the 45 years between 1970 and 2015, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2015 - CPI in 1970CPI in 1970

×

100

=

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

237.017 - 38.838.8

×

100

=

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 4.04% per year between 1970 and 2015 (vs all-CPI inflation of 4.10%), for an inflation total of 493.41%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $200 in 1970 is equivalent in buying power to $1,186.81 in 2015, a difference of $986.81. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $1,221.74 with a difference of $1,021.74.

In 1970, core inflation was 6.25%.

The average inflation rate of 4.10% has a compounding effect between 1970 and 2015. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 510.87% over 45 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $200 in the S&P 500 index in 1970, our investment would be * nominally* worth approximately $16,455.79 in 2015. This is a return on investment of 8,127.89%, with an absolute return of $16,255.79 on top of the original $200.

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 83.63% of returns ($13,761.96) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted * real* return of our $200 investment is $2,493.83. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $2,120 for most people.

Original Amount | Final Amount | Change | |
---|---|---|---|

Nominal |
$200 | $16,455.79 | 8,127.89% |

RealInflation Adjusted |
$200 | $2,693.83 | 1,246.92% |

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 1970 to latest available data for 2015 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 1970 and 2015, see the stock market returns calculator.

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

- January 1st, 1970 established as Epoch time for UNIX systems.
- Rhodesia declares independence and sets up a republican government.
- Aswan Dam opens in Egypt to prevent flooding of the Nile River.
- A Palestinian terrorist organization hijacks three aircrafts in an incident that is later known as Black September.

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index (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: “$200 in 1970 → 2015 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 17 Sep. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/1970-dollars-in-2015?amount=200.

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.

Cumulative price change | 510.87% |

Average inflation rate | 4.10% |

Converted amount ($200 base) | $1,221.74 |

Price difference ($200 base) | $1,021.74 |

CPI in 1970 | 38.800 |

CPI in 2015 | 237.017 |

Inflation in 1970 | 5.72% |

Inflation in 2015 | 0.12% |

$200 in 1970 | $1,221.74 in 2015 |