# £1 in 1889 is worth £131.81 today

£

## Value of £1 from 1889 to 2021

£1 in 1889 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £131.81 today, an increase of £130.81 over 132 years. The pound had an average inflation rate of 3.77% per year between 1889 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 13,081.26%.

This means that today's prices are 131.81 times higher than average prices since 1889, according to the Office for National Statistics composite price index. A pound today only buys 0.76% of what it could buy back then.

The 1889 inflation rate was 1.15%. The current year-over-year inflation rate (2020 to 2021) is now 0.70%1. If this number holds, £1 today will be equivalent in buying power to £1.01 next year.

 Cumulative price change 13,081.26% Average inflation rate 3.77% Converted amount (£1 base) £131.81 Price difference (£1 base) £130.81 CPI in 1889 8.800 CPI in 2021 1,159.951 Inflation in 1889 1.15% Inflation in 2021 0.70% £1 in 1889 £131.81 in 2021

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

## Buying power of £1 in 1889

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for £1 in 1889 (price index tracking began in 1750).

For example, if you started with £1, you would need to end with £131.81 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When £1 is equivalent to £131.81 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 £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: 1889-2021
Year Pound Value Inflation Rate
1889 £1.00 1.15%
1890 £1.00 0.00%
1891 £1.01 1.14%
1892 £1.01 0.00%
1893 £1.00 -1.12%
1894 £0.99 -1.14%
1895 £0.98 -1.15%
1896 £0.97 -1.16%
1897 £0.99 2.35%
1898 £0.99 0.00%
1899 £1.00 1.15%
1900 £1.05 4.55%
1901 £1.05 0.00%
1902 £1.05 0.00%
1903 £1.06 1.09%
1904 £1.06 0.00%
1905 £1.06 0.00%
1906 £1.06 0.00%
1907 £1.07 1.08%
1908 £1.07 0.00%
1909 £1.08 1.06%
1910 £1.09 1.05%
1911 £1.09 0.00%
1912 £1.13 3.13%
1913 £1.11 -1.01%
1914 £1.11 0.00%
1915 £1.25 12.24%
1916 £1.48 18.18%
1917 £1.85 25.38%
1918 £2.26 22.09%
1919 £2.49 10.05%
1920 £2.88 15.53%
1921 £2.63 -8.70%
1922 £2.26 -13.85%
1923 £2.12 -6.03%
1924 £2.11 -0.53%
1925 £2.11 0.00%
1926 £2.10 -0.54%
1927 £2.05 -2.70%
1928 £2.05 0.00%
1929 £2.02 -1.11%
1930 £1.97 -2.81%
1931 £1.89 -4.05%
1932 £1.84 -2.41%
1933 £1.80 -2.47%
1934 £1.80 0.00%
1935 £1.81 0.63%
1936 £1.82 0.63%
1937 £1.89 3.75%
1938 £1.91 1.20%
1939 £1.97 2.98%
1940 £2.30 16.76%
1941 £2.55 10.89%
1942 £2.73 7.14%
1943 £2.82 3.33%
1944 £2.90 2.82%
1945 £2.98 2.75%
1946 £3.07 3.05%
1947 £3.28 7.04%
1948 £3.53 7.61%
1949 £3.64 2.89%
1950 £3.75 3.13%
1951 £4.09 9.09%
1952 £4.47 9.17%
1953 £4.60 3.05%
1954 £4.69 1.98%
1955 £4.90 4.36%
1956 £5.15 5.10%
1957 £5.33 3.53%
1958 £5.50 3.20%
1959 £5.52 0.41%
1960 £5.58 1.03%
1961 £5.77 3.46%
1962 £6.02 4.33%
1963 £6.14 1.89%
1964 £6.34 3.33%
1965 £6.64 4.66%
1966 £6.90 3.94%
1967 £7.08 2.64%
1968 £7.41 4.65%
1969 £7.81 5.37%
1970 £8.31 6.40%
1971 £9.09 9.44%
1972 £9.74 7.13%
1973 £10.63 9.10%
1974 £12.33 16.04%
1975 £15.32 24.24%
1976 £17.85 16.54%
1977 £20.68 15.85%
1978 £22.40 8.30%
1979 £25.40 13.39%
1980 £29.97 17.99%
1981 £33.52 11.87%
1982 £36.41 8.61%
1983 £38.08 4.59%
1984 £39.98 4.98%
1985 £42.41 6.08%
1986 £43.85 3.40%
1987 £45.68 4.17%
1988 £47.92 4.90%
1989 £51.65 7.78%
1990 £56.53 9.46%
1991 £59.85 5.87%
1992 £62.09 3.74%
1993 £63.08 1.59%
1994 £64.60 2.41%
1995 £66.84 3.47%
1996 £68.45 2.41%
1997 £70.60 3.14%
1998 £73.02 3.43%
1999 £74.15 1.54%
2000 £76.34 2.96%
2001 £77.69 1.77%
2002 £78.99 1.67%
2003 £81.27 2.89%
2004 £83.69 2.98%
2005 £86.06 2.82%
2006 £88.81 3.20%
2007 £92.61 4.29%
2008 £96.31 3.99%
2009 £95.80 -0.53%
2010 £100.22 4.61%
2011 £105.43 5.20%
2012 £108.82 3.21%
2013 £112.13 3.04%
2014 £114.77 2.36%
2015 £115.91 0.99%
2016 £117.92 1.74%
2017 £122.15 3.58%
2018 £125.45 2.70%
2019 £128.58 2.50%
2020 £130.90 1.80%
2021 £131.81 0.70%*
* 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 1889 amounts in today's pounds, based on the 13,081.26% change in prices:

Conversion: 1889 pounds today
Initial value Equivalent value
£1 pound in 1889 £131.81 pounds today
£5 pounds in 1889 £659.06 pounds today
£10 pounds in 1889 £1,318.13 pounds today
£50 pounds in 1889 £6,590.63 pounds today
£100 pounds in 1889 £13,181.26 pounds today
£500 pounds in 1889 £65,906.30 pounds today
£1,000 pounds in 1889 £131,812.61 pounds today
£5,000 pounds in 1889 £659,063.03 pounds today
£10,000 pounds in 1889 £1,318,126.07 pounds today
£50,000 pounds in 1889 £6,590,630.33 pounds today
£100,000 pounds in 1889 £13,181,260.66 pounds today
£500,000 pounds in 1889 £65,906,303.30 pounds today
£1,000,000 pounds in 1889 £131,812,606.59 pounds today

## How to Calculate Inflation Rate for £1 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 1159.950938 in 2021:

1159.9509388.8
×
£1
=
£131.81

£1 in 1889 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as £131.81 in 2021.

To get the total inflation rate for the 132 years between 1889 and 2021, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2021 - CPI in 1889CPI in 1889
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (132 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

1159.950938 - 8.88.8
×
100
=
13,081%

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: “£1 in 1889 → 2021 | UK Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 13 May. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/uk/inflation/1889?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.