$100 in 1975 is worth $440.55 in 2015

Value of $100 from 1975 to 2015

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2015 are 340.55% higher than average prices since 1975. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.78% per year during this period, causing the real value of a dollar to decrease.

In other words, $100 in 1975 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $440.55 in 2015, a difference of $340.55 over 40 years.

The 1975 inflation rate was 9.13%. The inflation rate in 2015 was 0.12%. The 2015 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 1.86% per year between 2015 and 2020.


Inflation from 1975 to 2015
Cumulative price change 340.55%
Average inflation rate 3.78%
Converted amount ($100 base) $440.55
Price difference ($100 base) $340.55
CPI in 1975 53.800
CPI in 2015 237.017
Inflation in 1975 9.13%
Inflation in 2015 0.12%

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

Buying power of $100 in 1975

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $100 in 1975 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $100, you would need to end with $440.55 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $100 is equivalent to $440.55 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 1975 dollars, the chart below shows how $100 is worth less over 40 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: 1975-2015
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1975 $100.00 9.13%
1976 $105.76 5.76%
1977 $112.64 6.50%
1978 $121.19 7.59%
1979 $134.94 11.35%
1980 $153.16 13.50%
1981 $168.96 10.32%
1982 $179.37 6.16%
1983 $185.13 3.21%
1984 $193.12 4.32%
1985 $200.00 3.56%
1986 $203.72 1.86%
1987 $211.15 3.65%
1988 $219.89 4.14%
1989 $230.48 4.82%
1990 $242.94 5.40%
1991 $253.16 4.21%
1992 $260.78 3.01%
1993 $268.59 2.99%
1994 $275.46 2.56%
1995 $283.27 2.83%
1996 $291.64 2.95%
1997 $298.33 2.29%
1998 $302.97 1.56%
1999 $309.67 2.21%
2000 $320.07 3.36%
2001 $329.18 2.85%
2002 $334.39 1.58%
2003 $342.01 2.28%
2004 $351.12 2.66%
2005 $363.01 3.39%
2006 $374.72 3.23%
2007 $385.39 2.85%
2008 $400.19 3.84%
2009 $398.77 -0.36%
2010 $405.31 1.64%
2011 $418.10 3.16%
2012 $426.75 2.07%
2013 $433.01 1.46%
2014 $440.03 1.62%
2015 $440.55 0.12%
2016 $446.11 1.26%
2017 $455.61 2.13%
2018 $466.97 2.49%
2019 $475.20 1.76%
2020 $483.12 1.67%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 34 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1975 amounts in 2015 dollars, based on the 340.55% change in prices:

Conversion Table: Value of a dollar in 2015
Initial value Equivalent value
$1 dollar in 1975 $4.41 dollars in 2015
$5 dollars in 1975 $22.03 dollars in 2015
$10 dollars in 1975 $44.06 dollars in 2015
$50 dollars in 1975 $220.28 dollars in 2015
$100 dollars in 1975 $440.55 dollars in 2015
$500 dollars in 1975 $2,202.76 dollars in 2015
$1,000 dollars in 1975 $4,405.52 dollars in 2015
$5,000 dollars in 1975 $22,027.60 dollars in 2015
$10,000 dollars in 1975 $44,055.20 dollars in 2015
$50,000 dollars in 1975 $220,276.02 dollars in 2015
$100,000 dollars in 1975 $440,552.04 dollars in 2015
$500,000 dollars in 1975 $2,202,760.22 dollars in 2015
$1,000,000 dollars in 1975 $4,405,520.45 dollars in 2015

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1975 to 2015 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $100):

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 40 years between 1975 and 2015 (4.12%).

Detroit, Michigan experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 40 years between 1975 and 2015 (3.57%).

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 £100.00 in 1975 would be equivalent to £756.68 in 2015, an absolute change of £656.68 and a cumulative change of 656.68%.

In Canada, CA$100.00 in 1975 would be equivalent to CA$418.87 in 2015, an absolute change of CA$318.87 and a cumulative change of 318.87%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $340.55 and total percent change of 340.55%.


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 1975 and 2015.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.78% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $100 in 1975 → 2015
Food and beverages 3.59 310.03 410.03
Housing 3.95 370.17 470.17
Apparel 1.39 73.60 173.60
Transportation 3.51 297.34 397.34
Medical care 5.76 840.72 940.72
Recreation 1.12 55.83 155.83
Education and communication 2.20 139.10 239.10
Other goods and services 5.23 669.16 769.16

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 1975. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $100, 1975 to 2015

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1975 and 2015:

CPI in 2015 CPI in 1975
×
1975 USD value
=
2015 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 53.8 in the year 1975 and 237.017 in 2015:

237.01753.8
×
$100
=
$440.55

$100 in 1975 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $440.55 in 2015.

To get the total inflation rate for the 40 years between 1975 and 2015, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2015 - CPI in 1975CPI in 1975
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (40 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

237.017 - 53.853.8
×
100
=
341%

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 3.83% per year between 1975 and 2015 (vs all-CPI inflation of 3.78%), for an inflation total of 349.50%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $100 in 1975 is equivalent in buying power to $449.50 in 2015, a difference of $349.50. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $440.55 with a difference of $340.55.

In 1975, core inflation was 9.21%.


Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 3.78% has a compounding effect between 1975 and 2015. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 340.55% over 40 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $100 in the S&P 500 index in 1975, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $8,618.19 in 2015. This is a return on investment of 8,518.19%, with an absolute return of $8,518.19 on top of the original $100.

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 77.30% of returns ($6,661.96) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $100 investment is $1,856.22. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $1,578 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1975-2015
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $100 $8,618.19 8,518.19%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$100 $1,956.22 1,856.22%

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 1975 to latest available data for 2015 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 1975 and 2015, see the stock market returns calculator.


News headlines from 1975

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

  • Margaret Thatcher becomes leader of the British Conservative Party, after defeating Edward Heath.
  • Ethiopia abrogates its 3,000-year-old monarchy.
  • Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Microsoft.
  • The US signals the beginning of the end of its involvement Vietnam, after it begins to evacuate its citizens from Saigon.
  • Gough Whitlam is removed by Governor General Sir John Kerr: the first time an elected Prime Minister had been deposed in 200 years (Australia).

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: “1975 dollars in 2015 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 19 Sep. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/1975-dollars-in-2015.

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 1975 to 2015
Cumulative price change 340.55%
Average inflation rate 3.78%
Converted amount ($100 base) $440.55
Price difference ($100 base) $340.55
CPI in 1975 53.800
CPI in 2015 237.017
Inflation in 1975 9.13%
Inflation in 2015 0.12%