$3,600,000 in 1970 → $23,877,463.92 in 2019

Inflation Calculator

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$3,600,000 in 1970 → $23,877,463.92 in 2019

U.S. Inflation Rate, $3,600,000 in 1970 to 2019

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today's prices in 2019 are 563.26% higher than average prices throughout 1970. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.94% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, $3,600,000 in 1970 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $23,877,463.92 in 2019, a difference of $20,277,463.92 over 49 years.

The 1970 inflation rate was 5.72%. The current inflation rate (2018 to 2019) is now 1.76%1. If this number holds, $3,600,000 today will be equivalent in buying power to $3,663,505.55 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.


Inflation from 1970 to 2019
Cumulative price change 563.26%
Average inflation rate 3.94%
Converted amount ($3,600,000 base) $23,877,463.92
Price difference ($3,600,000 base) $20,277,463.92
CPI in 1970 38.800
CPI in 2019 257.346
Inflation in 1970 5.72%
Inflation in 2019 1.76%

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
Download

Buying power of $3,600,000 in 1970

This chart shows calculation of buying power equivalence, often referred to as "the value of a dollar" over time for $3,600,000 in 1970 (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
1970 $3,600,000.00 5.72%
1971 $3,757,731.96 4.38%
1972 $3,878,350.52 3.21%
1973 $4,119,587.63 6.22%
1974 $4,574,226.80 11.04%
1975 $4,991,752.58 9.13%
1976 $5,279,381.44 5.76%
1977 $5,622,680.41 6.50%
1978 $6,049,484.54 7.59%
1979 $6,736,082.47 11.35%
1980 $7,645,360.82 13.50%
1981 $8,434,020.62 10.32%
1982 $8,953,608.25 6.16%
1983 $9,241,237.11 3.21%
1984 $9,640,206.19 4.32%
1985 $9,983,505.15 3.56%
1986 $10,169,072.16 1.86%
1987 $10,540,206.19 3.65%
1988 $10,976,288.66 4.14%
1989 $11,505,154.64 4.82%
1990 $12,126,804.12 5.40%
1991 $12,637,113.40 4.21%
1992 $13,017,525.77 3.01%
1993 $13,407,216.49 2.99%
1994 $13,750,515.46 2.56%
1995 $14,140,206.19 2.83%
1996 $14,557,731.96 2.95%
1997 $14,891,752.58 2.29%
1998 $15,123,711.34 1.56%
1999 $15,457,731.96 2.21%
2000 $15,977,319.59 3.36%
2001 $16,431,958.76 2.85%
2002 $16,691,752.58 1.58%
2003 $17,072,164.95 2.28%
2004 $17,526,804.12 2.66%
2005 $18,120,618.56 3.39%
2006 $18,705,154.64 3.23%
2007 $19,237,917.53 2.85%
2008 $19,976,567.01 3.84%
2009 $19,905,494.85 -0.36%
2010 $20,232,000.00 1.64%
2011 $20,870,628.87 3.16%
2012 $21,302,536.08 2.07%
2013 $21,614,567.01 1.46%
2014 $21,965,195.88 1.62%
2015 $21,991,268.04 0.12%
2016 $22,268,690.72 1.26%
2017 $22,743,092.78 2.13%
2018 $23,298,572.16 2.44%
2019 $23,877,463.92 2.48%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 43 more rows

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1970 to 2019 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $3,600,000):

  • San Francisco, California: 4.29% average rate, $3,600,000 → $28,210,827.44, cumulative change of 683.63%
  • Seattle, Washington: 4.18% average rate, $3,600,000 → $26,784,646.94, cumulative change of 644.02%
  • Boston, Massachusetts: 4.06% average rate, $3,600,000 → $25,272,600.75, cumulative change of 602.02%
  • New York: 3.97% average rate, $3,600,000 → $24,309,282.14, cumulative change of 575.26%
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas: 3.84% average rate, $3,600,000 → $22,796,655.39, cumulative change of 533.24%
  • Atlanta, Georgia: 3.83% average rate, $3,600,000 → $22,740,783.36, cumulative change of 531.69%
  • Houston, Texas: 3.83% average rate, $3,600,000 → $22,688,743.21, cumulative change of 530.24%
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 3.82% average rate, $3,600,000 → $22,622,405.89, cumulative change of 528.40%
  • Chicago, Illinois: 3.79% average rate, $3,600,000 → $22,288,498.84, cumulative change of 519.12%
  • Detroit, Michigan: 3.70% average rate, $3,600,000 → $21,379,179.75, cumulative change of 493.87%

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 49 years between 1970 and 2019 (4.29%).

Detroit, Michigan experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 49 years between 1970 and 2019 (3.70%).

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 £3,600,000.00 in 1970 would be equivalent to £55,227,350.33 in 2019, an absolute change of £51,627,350.33 and a cumulative change of 1,434.09%.

In Canada, CA$3,600,000.00 in 1970 would be equivalent to CA$23,657,142.86 in 2019, an absolute change of CA$20,057,142.86 and a cumulative change of 557.14%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $20,277,463.92 and total percent change of 563.26%.


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 1970 and 2019.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.94% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $3,600,000 in 1970 → 2019
Food and beverages 3.87 542.30 23,122,685.61
Housing 4.14 629.76 26,271,262.33
Apparel 1.53 110.64 7,583,163.45
Transportation 3.58 460.80 20,188,851.70
Medical care 5.63 1,360.84 52,590,291.24
Recreation 1.09 69.92 6,116,962.29
Education and communication 1.84 144.91 8,816,749.05
Other goods and services 5.01 999.49 39,581,657.28

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.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $3,600,000 since 1970

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2019CPI in 1970
×
1970 USD value
=
2019 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 38.8 in the year 1970 and 257.346 in 2019:

257.34638.8
×
$3,600,000
=
$23,877,463.92

$3,600,000 in 1970 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $23,877,463.92 in 2019.

To get the total inflation rate for the 49 years between 1970 and 2019, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2019 - CPI in 1970CPI in 1970
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (49 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

257.346 - 38.838.8
×
100
=
563%

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 3.87% per year between 1970 and 2019 (vs all-CPI inflation of 3.94%), for an inflation total of 543.87%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $3,600,000 in 1970 is equivalent in buying power to $23,179,421.82 in 2019, a difference of $19,579,421.82. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $23,877,463.92 with a difference of $20,277,463.92.

In 1970, core inflation was 6.25%.


Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 3.94% has a compounding effect between 1970 and 2019. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 563.26% over 49 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $3,600,000 in the S&P 500 index in 1970, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $518,402,201.31 in 2019. This is a return on investment of 14,300.06%, with an absolute return of $514,802,201.31 on top of the original $3,600,000.

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 84.92% of returns ($440,242,815.07) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $3,600,000 investment is $74,559,386.24. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $63,375,478 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1970-2019
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $3,600,000 $518,402,201.31 14,300.06%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$3,600,000 $78,159,386.24 2,071.09%

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 2019.


News headlines from 1970

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.

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: “$3,600,000 in 1970 → 2019 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 12 Dec. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/1970-dollars-in-2019?amount=3600000.

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 1970 to 2019
Cumulative price change 563.26%
Average inflation rate 3.94%
Converted amount ($3,600,000 base) $23,877,463.92
Price difference ($3,600,000 base) $20,277,463.92
CPI in 1970 38.800
CPI in 2019 257.346
Inflation in 1970 5.72%
Inflation in 2019 1.76%
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