# £100 in 1879 is worth £12,508.17 today

£

## Why a pound today is worth only 0.8% of a pound in 1879

Updated: September 11, 2020

According to the Office for National Statistics composite price index, today's prices in 2020 are 12,408.17% higher than average prices since 1879. This means that a pound today only buys 0.80% of what it could buy in 1879. The British pound experienced an average inflation rate of 3.48% per year during this period, causing the real value of a pound to decrease.

In other words, £100 in 1879 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £12,508.17 in 2020, a difference of £12,408.17 over 141 years.

The 1879 inflation rate was -4.21%. The current year-over-year inflation rate (2019 to 2020) is now 1.50%1. If this number holds, £100 today will be equivalent in buying power to £101.50 next year.

 Cumulative price change 12,408.17% Average inflation rate 3.48% Converted amount (£100 base) £12,508.17 Price difference (£100 base) £12,408.17 CPI in 1879 9.100 CPI in 2020 1,138.243 Inflation in 1879 -4.21% Inflation in 2020 1.50%

GBP Inflation since 1750
Annual Rate, the Office for National Statistics CPI

## Buying power of £100 in 1879

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for £100 in 1879 (price index tracking began in 1750).

For example, if you started with £100, you would need to end with £12,508.17 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When £100 is equivalent to £12,508.17 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 1879 dollars, the chart below shows how £100 is worth less over 141 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:

Pound inflation: 1879-2020
Year Pound Value Inflation Rate
1879 £100.00 -4.21%
1880 £103.30 3.30%
1881 £102.20 -1.06%
1882 £103.30 1.08%
1883 £102.20 -1.06%
1884 £100.00 -2.15%
1885 £96.70 -3.30%
1886 £95.60 -1.14%
1887 £94.51 -1.15%
1888 £95.60 1.16%
1889 £96.70 1.15%
1890 £96.70 0.00%
1891 £97.80 1.14%
1892 £97.80 0.00%
1893 £96.70 -1.12%
1894 £95.60 -1.14%
1895 £94.51 -1.15%
1896 £93.41 -1.16%
1897 £95.60 2.35%
1898 £95.60 0.00%
1899 £96.70 1.15%
1900 £101.10 4.55%
1901 £101.10 0.00%
1902 £101.10 0.00%
1903 £102.20 1.09%
1904 £102.20 0.00%
1905 £102.20 0.00%
1906 £102.20 0.00%
1907 £103.30 1.08%
1908 £103.30 0.00%
1909 £104.40 1.06%
1910 £105.49 1.05%
1911 £105.49 0.00%
1912 £108.79 3.13%
1913 £107.69 -1.01%
1914 £107.69 0.00%
1915 £120.88 12.24%
1916 £142.86 18.18%
1917 £179.12 25.38%
1918 £218.68 22.09%
1919 £240.66 10.05%
1920 £278.02 15.53%
1921 £253.85 -8.70%
1922 £218.68 -13.85%
1923 £205.49 -6.03%
1924 £204.40 -0.53%
1925 £204.40 0.00%
1926 £203.30 -0.54%
1927 £197.80 -2.70%
1928 £197.80 0.00%
1929 £195.60 -1.11%
1930 £190.11 -2.81%
1931 £182.42 -4.05%
1932 £178.02 -2.41%
1933 £173.63 -2.47%
1934 £173.63 0.00%
1935 £174.73 0.63%
1936 £175.82 0.63%
1937 £182.42 3.75%
1938 £184.62 1.20%
1939 £190.11 2.98%
1940 £221.98 16.76%
1941 £246.15 10.89%
1942 £263.74 7.14%
1943 £272.53 3.33%
1944 £280.22 2.82%
1945 £287.91 2.75%
1946 £296.70 3.05%
1947 £317.58 7.04%
1948 £341.76 7.61%
1949 £351.65 2.89%
1950 £362.64 3.13%
1951 £395.60 9.09%
1952 £431.87 9.17%
1953 £445.05 3.05%
1954 £453.85 1.98%
1955 £473.63 4.36%
1956 £497.80 5.10%
1957 £515.38 3.53%
1958 £531.87 3.20%
1959 £534.07 0.41%
1960 £539.56 1.03%
1961 £558.24 3.46%
1962 £582.42 4.33%
1963 £593.41 1.89%
1964 £613.19 3.33%
1965 £641.76 4.66%
1966 £667.03 3.94%
1967 £684.62 2.64%
1968 £716.48 4.65%
1969 £754.95 5.37%
1970 £803.30 6.40%
1971 £879.12 9.44%
1972 £941.76 7.13%
1973 £1,027.47 9.10%
1974 £1,192.31 16.04%
1975 £1,481.32 24.24%
1976 £1,726.37 16.54%
1977 £2,000.00 15.85%
1978 £2,165.93 8.30%
1979 £2,456.04 13.39%
1980 £2,897.80 17.99%
1981 £3,241.76 11.87%
1982 £3,520.88 8.61%
1983 £3,682.42 4.59%
1984 £3,865.93 4.98%
1985 £4,101.10 6.08%
1986 £4,240.66 3.40%
1987 £4,417.58 4.17%
1988 £4,634.07 4.90%
1989 £4,994.51 7.78%
1990 £5,467.03 9.46%
1991 £5,787.91 5.87%
1992 £6,004.40 3.74%
1993 £6,100.00 1.59%
1994 £6,247.25 2.41%
1995 £6,463.74 3.47%
1996 £6,619.78 2.41%
1997 £6,827.47 3.14%
1998 £7,061.54 3.43%
1999 £7,170.33 1.54%
2000 £7,382.42 2.96%
2001 £7,513.19 1.77%
2002 £7,638.46 1.67%
2003 £7,859.34 2.89%
2004 £8,093.41 2.98%
2005 £8,321.98 2.82%
2006 £8,587.91 3.20%
2007 £8,956.04 4.29%
2008 £9,313.19 3.99%
2009 £9,263.74 -0.53%
2010 £9,691.21 4.61%
2011 £10,195.60 5.20%
2012 £10,523.08 3.21%
2013 £10,842.86 3.04%
2014 £11,098.90 2.36%
2015 £11,208.79 0.99%
2016 £11,403.30 1.74%
2017 £11,812.09 3.58%
2018 £12,105.42 2.48%
2019 £12,323.32 1.80%
2020 £12,508.17 1.50%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 135 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1879 amounts in today's pounds, based on the 12,408.17% change in prices:

Conversion Table: Value of a pound today
Initial value Equivalent value
£1 pound in 1879 £125.08 pounds today
£5 pounds in 1879 £625.41 pounds today
£10 pounds in 1879 £1,250.82 pounds today
£50 pounds in 1879 £6,254.08 pounds today
£100 pounds in 1879 £12,508.17 pounds today
£500 pounds in 1879 £62,540.84 pounds today
£1,000 pounds in 1879 £125,081.69 pounds today
£5,000 pounds in 1879 £625,408.44 pounds today
£10,000 pounds in 1879 £1,250,816.88 pounds today
£50,000 pounds in 1879 £6,254,084.40 pounds today
£100,000 pounds in 1879 £12,508,168.80 pounds today
£500,000 pounds in 1879 £62,540,844.00 pounds today
£1,000,000 pounds in 1879 £125,081,687.99 pounds today

## How to Calculate Inflation Rate for £100 since 1879

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1879 and today:

CPI today CPI in 1879
×
1879 GBP value
=
Today's value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.K. CPI was 9.1 in the year 1879 and 1138.2433607545 in 2020:

1138.24336075459.1
×
£100
=
£12,508.17

£100 in 1879 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as £12,508.17 in 2020.

To get the total inflation rate for the 141 years between 1879 and 2020, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2020 - CPI in 1879CPI in 1879
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (141 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

1138.2433607545 - 9.19.1
×
100
=
12,408%

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

• British garrison of 150 holds off Yulu warriors 3,000 to 4,000 strong in the Battle of Rorke's Drift. Defenders were awarded 11 Victoria Crosses and other decorations
• Peru declares war on Bolivia signalling the start of the Pacific War.
• Thomas Elkins, an African American inventor, patents refrigerating apparatus.

## Data Source & Citation

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 1879 pounds today | UK Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 28 Sep. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/uk/inflation/1879?amount=&startYear=&future_pct=.

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.