£100 in 1889 is worth £12,934.58 today

Why a pound today is worth only 0.8% of a pound in 1889

Updated: June 11, 2020

According to the Office for National Statistics composite price index, today's prices in 2020 are 12,834.58% higher than average prices since 1889. This means that a pound today only buys 0.77% of what it could buy in 1889. The British pound experienced an average inflation rate of 3.78% per year during this period, causing the real value of a pound to decrease.

In other words, £100 in 1889 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £12,934.58 in 2020, a difference of £12,834.58 over 131 years.

The 1889 inflation rate was 1.15%. 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.


Inflation from 1889 to 2020
Cumulative price change 12,834.58%
Average inflation rate 3.78%
Converted amount (£100 base) £12,934.58
Price difference (£100 base) £12,834.58
CPI in 1889 8.800
CPI in 2020 1,138.243
Inflation in 1889 1.15%
Inflation in 2020 1.50%

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

Buying power of £100 in 1889

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for £100 in 1889 (price index tracking began in 1750).

For example, if you started with £100, you would need to end with £12,934.58 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When £100 is equivalent to £12,934.58 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 1889 dollars, the chart below shows how £100 is worth less over 131 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: 1889-2020
Year Pound Value Inflation Rate
1889 £100.00 1.15%
1890 £100.00 0.00%
1891 £101.14 1.14%
1892 £101.14 0.00%
1893 £100.00 -1.12%
1894 £98.86 -1.14%
1895 £97.73 -1.15%
1896 £96.59 -1.16%
1897 £98.86 2.35%
1898 £98.86 0.00%
1899 £100.00 1.15%
1900 £104.55 4.55%
1901 £104.55 0.00%
1902 £104.55 0.00%
1903 £105.68 1.09%
1904 £105.68 0.00%
1905 £105.68 0.00%
1906 £105.68 0.00%
1907 £106.82 1.08%
1908 £106.82 0.00%
1909 £107.95 1.06%
1910 £109.09 1.05%
1911 £109.09 0.00%
1912 £112.50 3.13%
1913 £111.36 -1.01%
1914 £111.36 0.00%
1915 £125.00 12.24%
1916 £147.73 18.18%
1917 £185.23 25.38%
1918 £226.14 22.09%
1919 £248.86 10.05%
1920 £287.50 15.53%
1921 £262.50 -8.70%
1922 £226.14 -13.85%
1923 £212.50 -6.03%
1924 £211.36 -0.53%
1925 £211.36 0.00%
1926 £210.23 -0.54%
1927 £204.55 -2.70%
1928 £204.55 0.00%
1929 £202.27 -1.11%
1930 £196.59 -2.81%
1931 £188.64 -4.05%
1932 £184.09 -2.41%
1933 £179.55 -2.47%
1934 £179.55 0.00%
1935 £180.68 0.63%
1936 £181.82 0.63%
1937 £188.64 3.75%
1938 £190.91 1.20%
1939 £196.59 2.98%
1940 £229.55 16.76%
1941 £254.55 10.89%
1942 £272.73 7.14%
1943 £281.82 3.33%
1944 £289.77 2.82%
1945 £297.73 2.75%
1946 £306.82 3.05%
1947 £328.41 7.04%
1948 £353.41 7.61%
1949 £363.64 2.89%
1950 £375.00 3.13%
1951 £409.09 9.09%
1952 £446.59 9.17%
1953 £460.23 3.05%
1954 £469.32 1.98%
1955 £489.77 4.36%
1956 £514.77 5.10%
1957 £532.95 3.53%
1958 £550.00 3.20%
1959 £552.27 0.41%
1960 £557.95 1.03%
1961 £577.27 3.46%
1962 £602.27 4.33%
1963 £613.64 1.89%
1964 £634.09 3.33%
1965 £663.64 4.66%
1966 £689.77 3.94%
1967 £707.95 2.64%
1968 £740.91 4.65%
1969 £780.68 5.37%
1970 £830.68 6.40%
1971 £909.09 9.44%
1972 £973.86 7.13%
1973 £1,062.50 9.10%
1974 £1,232.95 16.04%
1975 £1,531.82 24.24%
1976 £1,785.23 16.54%
1977 £2,068.18 15.85%
1978 £2,239.77 8.30%
1979 £2,539.77 13.39%
1980 £2,996.59 17.99%
1981 £3,352.27 11.87%
1982 £3,640.91 8.61%
1983 £3,807.95 4.59%
1984 £3,997.73 4.98%
1985 £4,240.91 6.08%
1986 £4,385.23 3.40%
1987 £4,568.18 4.17%
1988 £4,792.05 4.90%
1989 £5,164.77 7.78%
1990 £5,653.41 9.46%
1991 £5,985.23 5.87%
1992 £6,209.09 3.74%
1993 £6,307.95 1.59%
1994 £6,460.23 2.41%
1995 £6,684.09 3.47%
1996 £6,845.45 2.41%
1997 £7,060.23 3.14%
1998 £7,302.27 3.43%
1999 £7,414.77 1.54%
2000 £7,634.09 2.96%
2001 £7,769.32 1.77%
2002 £7,898.86 1.67%
2003 £8,127.27 2.89%
2004 £8,369.32 2.98%
2005 £8,605.68 2.82%
2006 £8,880.68 3.20%
2007 £9,261.36 4.29%
2008 £9,630.68 3.99%
2009 £9,579.55 -0.53%
2010 £10,021.59 4.61%
2011 £10,543.18 5.20%
2012 £10,881.82 3.21%
2013 £11,212.50 3.04%
2014 £11,477.27 2.36%
2015 £11,590.91 0.99%
2016 £11,792.05 1.74%
2017 £12,214.77 3.58%
2018 £12,518.11 2.48%
2019 £12,743.43 1.80%
2020 £12,934.58 1.50%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 125 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1889 amounts in today's pounds, based on the 12,834.58% change in prices:

Conversion Table: Value of a pound today
Initial value Equivalent value
£1 pound in 1889 £129.35 pounds today
£5 pounds in 1889 £646.73 pounds today
£10 pounds in 1889 £1,293.46 pounds today
£50 pounds in 1889 £6,467.29 pounds today
£100 pounds in 1889 £12,934.58 pounds today
£500 pounds in 1889 £64,672.92 pounds today
£1,000 pounds in 1889 £129,345.84 pounds today
£5,000 pounds in 1889 £646,729.18 pounds today
£10,000 pounds in 1889 £1,293,458.36 pounds today
£50,000 pounds in 1889 £6,467,291.82 pounds today
£100,000 pounds in 1889 £12,934,583.64 pounds today
£500,000 pounds in 1889 £64,672,918.22 pounds today
£1,000,000 pounds in 1889 £129,345,836.45 pounds today

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for £100 since 1889

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1889 and today:

CPI today CPI in 1889
×
1889 GBP value
=
Today's value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.K. CPI was 8.8 in the year 1889 and 1138.2433607545 in 2020:

1138.24336075458.8
×
£100
=
£12,934.58

£100 in 1889 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as £12,934.58 in 2020.

To get the total inflation rate for the 131 years between 1889 and 2020, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2020 - CPI in 1889CPI in 1889
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (131 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

1138.2433607545 - 8.88.8
×
100
=
12,835%

News headlines from 1889

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

  • George Eastman's Kodak flexible rolled films are sold for the first time.
  • The World Fair, "Exposition Universelle" opens in Paris, after the completion of the Eiffel Tower.
  • Nintendo Koppai is founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi, whose goal was to produce and market Hanafuda, card game. The company is today known as Nintendo Company, Limited

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 1889 pounds today | UK Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 6 Jul. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/uk/inflation/1889.

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 1889 to 2020
Cumulative price change 12,834.58%
Average inflation rate 3.78%
Converted amount (£100 base) £12,934.58
Price difference (£100 base) £12,834.58
CPI in 1889 8.800
CPI in 2020 1,138.243
Inflation in 1889 1.15%
Inflation in 2020 1.50%