# £1 in 1888 is worth £130.83 today

£

## Value of £1 from 1888 to 2020

According to the Office for National Statistics composite price index, today's prices in 2020 are 12,983.26% higher than average prices since 1888. The British pound experienced an average inflation rate of 3.76% per year during this period, causing the real value of a pound to decrease.

In other words, £1 in 1888 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £130.83 in 2020, a difference of £129.83 over 132 years.

The 1888 inflation rate was 1.16%. The current year-over-year inflation rate (2019 to 2020) is now 1.50%1. If this number holds, £1 today will be equivalent in buying power to £1.01 next year.

 Cumulative price change 12,983.26% Average inflation rate 3.76% Converted amount (£1 base) £130.83 Price difference (£1 base) £129.83 CPI in 1888 8.700 CPI in 2020 1,138.243 Inflation in 1888 1.16% Inflation in 2020 1.50%

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

## Buying power of £1 in 1888

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for £1 in 1888 (price index tracking began in 1750).

For example, if you started with £1, you would need to end with £130.83 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When £1 is equivalent to £130.83 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 1888 dollars, the chart below shows how £1 is worth less over 132 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: 1888-2020
Year Pound Value Inflation Rate
1888 £1.00 1.16%
1889 £1.01 1.15%
1890 £1.01 0.00%
1891 £1.02 1.14%
1892 £1.02 0.00%
1893 £1.01 -1.12%
1894 £1.00 -1.14%
1895 £0.99 -1.15%
1896 £0.98 -1.16%
1897 £1.00 2.35%
1898 £1.00 0.00%
1899 £1.01 1.15%
1900 £1.06 4.55%
1901 £1.06 0.00%
1902 £1.06 0.00%
1903 £1.07 1.09%
1904 £1.07 0.00%
1905 £1.07 0.00%
1906 £1.07 0.00%
1907 £1.08 1.08%
1908 £1.08 0.00%
1909 £1.09 1.06%
1910 £1.10 1.05%
1911 £1.10 0.00%
1912 £1.14 3.13%
1913 £1.13 -1.01%
1914 £1.13 0.00%
1915 £1.26 12.24%
1916 £1.49 18.18%
1917 £1.87 25.38%
1918 £2.29 22.09%
1919 £2.52 10.05%
1920 £2.91 15.53%
1921 £2.66 -8.70%
1922 £2.29 -13.85%
1923 £2.15 -6.03%
1924 £2.14 -0.53%
1925 £2.14 0.00%
1926 £2.13 -0.54%
1927 £2.07 -2.70%
1928 £2.07 0.00%
1929 £2.05 -1.11%
1930 £1.99 -2.81%
1931 £1.91 -4.05%
1932 £1.86 -2.41%
1933 £1.82 -2.47%
1934 £1.82 0.00%
1935 £1.83 0.63%
1936 £1.84 0.63%
1937 £1.91 3.75%
1938 £1.93 1.20%
1939 £1.99 2.98%
1940 £2.32 16.76%
1941 £2.57 10.89%
1942 £2.76 7.14%
1943 £2.85 3.33%
1944 £2.93 2.82%
1945 £3.01 2.75%
1946 £3.10 3.05%
1947 £3.32 7.04%
1948 £3.57 7.61%
1949 £3.68 2.89%
1950 £3.79 3.13%
1951 £4.14 9.09%
1952 £4.52 9.17%
1953 £4.66 3.05%
1954 £4.75 1.98%
1955 £4.95 4.36%
1956 £5.21 5.10%
1957 £5.39 3.53%
1958 £5.56 3.20%
1959 £5.59 0.41%
1960 £5.64 1.03%
1961 £5.84 3.46%
1962 £6.09 4.33%
1963 £6.21 1.89%
1964 £6.41 3.33%
1965 £6.71 4.66%
1966 £6.98 3.94%
1967 £7.16 2.64%
1968 £7.49 4.65%
1969 £7.90 5.37%
1970 £8.40 6.40%
1971 £9.20 9.44%
1972 £9.85 7.13%
1973 £10.75 9.10%
1974 £12.47 16.04%
1975 £15.49 24.24%
1976 £18.06 16.54%
1977 £20.92 15.85%
1978 £22.66 8.30%
1979 £25.69 13.39%
1980 £30.31 17.99%
1981 £33.91 11.87%
1982 £36.83 8.61%
1983 £38.52 4.59%
1984 £40.44 4.98%
1985 £42.90 6.08%
1986 £44.36 3.40%
1987 £46.21 4.17%
1988 £48.47 4.90%
1989 £52.24 7.78%
1990 £57.18 9.46%
1991 £60.54 5.87%
1992 £62.80 3.74%
1993 £63.80 1.59%
1994 £65.34 2.41%
1995 £67.61 3.47%
1996 £69.24 2.41%
1997 £71.41 3.14%
1998 £73.86 3.43%
1999 £75.00 1.54%
2000 £77.22 2.96%
2001 £78.59 1.77%
2002 £79.90 1.67%
2003 £82.21 2.89%
2004 £84.66 2.98%
2005 £87.05 2.82%
2006 £89.83 3.20%
2007 £93.68 4.29%
2008 £97.41 3.99%
2009 £96.90 -0.53%
2010 £101.37 4.61%
2011 £106.64 5.20%
2012 £110.07 3.21%
2013 £113.41 3.04%
2014 £116.09 2.36%
2015 £117.24 0.99%
2016 £119.28 1.74%
2017 £123.55 3.58%
2018 £126.62 2.48%
2019 £128.90 1.80%
2020 £130.83 1.50%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 126 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1888 amounts in today's pounds, based on the 12,983.26% change in prices:

Conversion Table: Value of a pound today
Initial value Equivalent value
£1 pound in 1888 £130.83 pounds today
£5 pounds in 1888 £654.16 pounds today
£10 pounds in 1888 £1,308.33 pounds today
£50 pounds in 1888 £6,541.63 pounds today
£100 pounds in 1888 £13,083.26 pounds today
£500 pounds in 1888 £65,416.29 pounds today
£1,000 pounds in 1888 £130,832.57 pounds today
£5,000 pounds in 1888 £654,162.85 pounds today
£10,000 pounds in 1888 £1,308,325.70 pounds today
£50,000 pounds in 1888 £6,541,628.51 pounds today
£100,000 pounds in 1888 £13,083,257.02 pounds today
£500,000 pounds in 1888 £65,416,285.10 pounds today
£1,000,000 pounds in 1888 £130,832,570.20 pounds today

## How to Calculate Inflation Rate for £1 since 1888

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1888 and today:

CPI today CPI in 1888
×
1888 GBP value
=
Today's value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.K. CPI was 8.7 in the year 1888 and 1138.2433607545 in 2020:

1138.24336075458.7
×
£1
=
£130.83

£1 in 1888 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as £130.83 in 2020.

To get the total inflation rate for the 132 years between 1888 and 2020, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2020 - CPI in 1888CPI in 1888
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (132 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

1138.2433607545 - 8.78.7
×
100
=
12,983%

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

• The National Geographic Society is founded in Washington.
• The Constantinople Convention is signed: it guarantees free maritime passage through the Suez Canal during war and peace.
• Handel's Israel in Egypt on wax cylinder becomes first known recording of classical music
• In a State Emigrant Hospital, New York, Edith Eleanor McLean becomes the first baby to be placed in an incubator
• Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter, cuts off his ear and sends it to a prostitute for safe keeping

## 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: “£1 in 1888 → 2020 | UK Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 18 Sep. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/uk/inflation/1888?amount=1.

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.