$300 in 1980 → $936.44 in 2019

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$300 in 1980 → $936.44 in 2019

U.S. Inflation Rate, $300 in 1980 to 2019

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today's prices in 2019 are 212.15% higher than average prices throughout 1980. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.96% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, $300 in 1980 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $936.44 in 2019, a difference of $636.44 over 39 years.

The 1980 inflation rate was 13.50%. The current inflation rate (2018 to 2019) is now 2.05%1. If this number holds, $300 today will be equivalent in buying power to $306.15 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.


Inflation from 1980 to 2019
Cumulative price change 212.15%
Average inflation rate 2.96%
Converted amount ($300 base) $936.44
Price difference ($300 base) $636.44
CPI in 1980 82.400
CPI in 2019 257.208
Inflation in 1980 13.50%
Inflation in 2019 2.05%

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
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Buying power of $300 in 1980

This chart shows calculation of buying power equivalence, often referred to as "the value of a dollar" over time for $300 in 1980 (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
1980 $300.00 13.50%
1981 $330.95 10.32%
1982 $351.33 6.16%
1983 $362.62 3.21%
1984 $378.28 4.32%
1985 $391.75 3.56%
1986 $399.03 1.86%
1987 $413.59 3.65%
1988 $430.70 4.14%
1989 $451.46 4.82%
1990 $475.85 5.40%
1991 $495.87 4.21%
1992 $510.80 3.01%
1993 $526.09 2.99%
1994 $539.56 2.56%
1995 $554.85 2.83%
1996 $571.24 2.95%
1997 $584.34 2.29%
1998 $593.45 1.56%
1999 $606.55 2.21%
2000 $626.94 3.36%
2001 $644.78 2.85%
2002 $654.98 1.58%
2003 $669.90 2.28%
2004 $687.74 2.66%
2005 $711.04 3.39%
2006 $733.98 3.23%
2007 $754.89 2.85%
2008 $783.87 3.84%
2009 $781.08 -0.36%
2010 $793.89 1.64%
2011 $818.95 3.16%
2012 $835.90 2.07%
2013 $848.14 1.46%
2014 $861.90 1.62%
2015 $862.93 0.12%
2016 $873.81 1.26%
2017 $892.43 2.13%
2018 $914.22 2.44%
2019 $936.44 2.43%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 33 more rows

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1980 to 2019 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $300):

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 39 years between 1980 and 2019 (3.39%).

Detroit, Michigan experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 39 years between 1980 and 2019 (2.63%).

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 £300.00 in 1980 would be equivalent to £1,275.79 in 2019, an absolute change of £975.79 and a cumulative change of 325.26%.

In Canada, CA$300.00 in 1980 would be equivalent to CA$866.23 in 2019, an absolute change of CA$566.23 and a cumulative change of 188.74%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $636.44 and total percent change of 212.15%.


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 1980 and 2019.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.96% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $300 in 1980 → 2019
Food and beverages 2.83 197.25 891.75
Housing 3.09 227.84 983.51
Apparel 0.81 36.91 410.72
Transportation 2.41 152.99 758.96
Medical care 4.97 564.23 1,992.69
Recreation 1.09 52.75 458.26
Education and communication 1.85 104.17 612.52
Other goods and services 4.70 498.76 1,796.29

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 1980. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $300 since 1980

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2019CPI in 1980
×
1980 USD value
=
2019 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 82.4 in the year 1980 and 257.208 in 2019:

257.20882.4
×
$300
=
$936.44

$300 in 1980 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $936.44 in 2019.

To get the total inflation rate for the 39 years between 1980 and 2019, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2019 - CPI in 1980CPI in 1980
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (39 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

257.208 - 82.482.4
×
100
=
212%

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 3.07% per year between 1980 and 2019 (vs all-CPI inflation of 2.96%), for an inflation total of 225.62%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $300 in 1980 is equivalent in buying power to $976.87 in 2019, a difference of $676.87. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $936.44 with a difference of $636.44.

In 1980, core inflation was 12.42%.


Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 2.96% has a compounding effect between 1980 and 2019. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 212.15% over 39 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $300 in the S&P 500 index in 1980, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $23,699.43 in 2019. This is a return on investment of 7,799.81%, with an absolute return of $23,399.43 on top of the original $300.

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 67.96% of returns ($16,107.00) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $300 investment is $7,292.43. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $6,199 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1980-2019
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $300 $23,699.43 7,799.81%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$300 $7,592.43 2,430.81%

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 1980 to latest available data for 2019.


News headlines from 1980

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

  • Princess Victoria is crowned Princess of Sweden.
  • Iranian protesters storm the Russian embassy in Iran.
  • Abdou Diouf is elected president of Senegal after being Prime Minister for ten years.
  • Cable News Network (CNN) is transmitted for the first time.
  • Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq, declares a holy war on Iran.

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: “$300 in 1980 → 2019 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 13 Dec. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/1980-dollars-in-2019?amount=300.

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 1980 to 2019
Cumulative price change 212.15%
Average inflation rate 2.96%
Converted amount ($300 base) $936.44
Price difference ($300 base) $636.44
CPI in 1980 82.400
CPI in 2019 257.208
Inflation in 1980 13.50%
Inflation in 2019 2.05%
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