£100 in 1878 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £12,210.01 today, an increase of £12,110.01 over 143 years. The pound had an average inflation rate of 3.42% per year between 1878 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 12,110.01%.

This means that today's prices are 122.10 times higher than average prices since 1878, according to the Office for National Statistics composite price index. A pound today only buys 0.82% of what it could buy back then.

The 1878 inflation rate was -2.06%. The current year-over-year inflation rate (2020 to 2021) is now 0.70%^{1}.
If this number holds, £100 today will be equivalent in buying power to £100.70 next year.

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Cumulative price change | 12,110.01% |

Average inflation rate | 3.42% |

Converted amount (£100 base) | £12,210.01 |

Price difference (£100 base) | £12,110.01 |

CPI in 1878 | 9.500 |

CPI in 2021 | 1,159.951 |

Inflation in 1878 | -2.06% |

Inflation in 2021 | 0.70% |

£100 in 1878 | £12,210.01 in 2021 |

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for £100 in 1878 (price index tracking began in 1750).

For example, if you started with £100, you would need to end with £12,210.01 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When £100 is equivalent to £12,210.01 over time, that means that the "real value" of a single U.K. pound decreases over time. In other words, a pound will pay for fewer items at the store.

This effect explains how inflation erodes the value of a pound over time. By calculating the value in 1878 dollars, the chart below shows how £100 is worth less over 143 years.

According to the Office for National Statistics, each of these GBP amounts below is equal in terms of what it could buy at the time:

This conversion table shows various other 1878 amounts in today's pounds, based on the 12,110.01% change in prices:

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

£1 pound in 1878 | £122.10 pounds today |

£5 pounds in 1878 | £610.50 pounds today |

£10 pounds in 1878 | £1,221.00 pounds today |

£50 pounds in 1878 | £6,105.00 pounds today |

£100 pounds in 1878 | £12,210.01 pounds today |

£500 pounds in 1878 | £61,050.05 pounds today |

£1,000 pounds in 1878 | £122,100.10 pounds today |

£5,000 pounds in 1878 | £610,500.49 pounds today |

£10,000 pounds in 1878 | £1,221,000.99 pounds today |

£50,000 pounds in 1878 | £6,105,004.94 pounds today |

£100,000 pounds in 1878 | £12,210,009.87 pounds today |

£500,000 pounds in 1878 | £61,050,049.37 pounds today |

£1,000,000 pounds in 1878 | £122,100,098.74 pounds today |

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1878 and today:

CPI today
CPI in 1878

×

1878 GBP value

=

Today's value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.K. CPI was 9.5 in the year 1878 and 1159.950938 in 2021:

1159.9509389.5

×

£100

=

£100 in 1878 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as £12,210.01 in 2021.

To get the total inflation rate for the 143 years between 1878 and 2021, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2021 - CPI in 1878CPI in 1878

×

100

=

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

1159.950938 - 9.59.5

×

100

=

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

- Berlin Congress begins with goal to determine the territories of the states in the Balkans after the Russo-Turkish war.
- King Leopold II's agent secretly meets Henry Morton Stanley.
- Thomas Edison patents the gramophone.

Raw data for these calculations comes from the composite price index published by the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS). A composite index is created by combining price data from several different published sources, both official and unofficial. The Consumer Price Index, normally used to compute inflation, has only been tracked since 1988. All inflation calculations after 1988 use the Office for National Statistics' Consumer Price Index, except for 2017, which is based on The Bank of England's forecast.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “Value of 1878 pounds today | UK Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 14 Sep. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/uk/inflation/1878.

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 | 12,110.01% |

Average inflation rate | 3.42% |

Converted amount (£100 base) | £12,210.01 |

Price difference (£100 base) | £12,110.01 |

CPI in 1878 | 9.500 |

CPI in 2021 | 1,159.951 |

Inflation in 1878 | -2.06% |

Inflation in 2021 | 0.70% |

£100 in 1878 | £12,210.01 in 2021 |