£1 in 1916 is worth £0.51 in 1916

Value of £1 from 1920 to 1916

According to the Office for National Statistics composite price index, prices in 1916 are 48.62% lower than average prices since 1920. The British pound experienced an average inflation rate of 18.11% per year during this period, causing the real value of a pound to decrease.

In other words, £1 in 1920 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £0.51 in 1916, a difference of £-0.49 over 4 years.

The 1916 inflation rate was 18.18%. The inflation rate in 1920 was 15.53%. The 1920 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 3.88% per year between 1920 and 2020.


Inflation from 1920 to 1916
Cumulative price change -48.62%
Average inflation rate 18.11%
Converted amount (£1 base) £0.51
Price difference (£1 base) £-0.49
CPI in 1920 25.300
CPI in 1916 13.000
Inflation in 1916 18.18%
Inflation in 1920 15.53%

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

Buying power of £1 in 1916

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for £1 in 1916 (price index tracking began in 1750).

For example, if you started with £1, you would need to end with £0.51 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When £1 is equivalent to £0.51 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 1916 dollars, the chart below shows how £1 is worth less over 4 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: 1916-1920
Year Pound Value Inflation Rate
1916 £1.00 18.18%
1917 £1.25 25.38%
1918 £1.53 22.09%
1919 £1.68 10.05%
1920 £1.95 15.53%
1921 £1.78 -8.70%
1922 £1.53 -13.85%
1923 £1.44 -6.03%
1924 £1.43 -0.53%
1925 £1.43 0.00%
1926 £1.42 -0.54%
1927 £1.38 -2.70%
1928 £1.38 0.00%
1929 £1.37 -1.11%
1930 £1.33 -2.81%
1931 £1.28 -4.05%
1932 £1.25 -2.41%
1933 £1.22 -2.47%
1934 £1.22 0.00%
1935 £1.22 0.63%
1936 £1.23 0.63%
1937 £1.28 3.75%
1938 £1.29 1.20%
1939 £1.33 2.98%
1940 £1.55 16.76%
1941 £1.72 10.89%
1942 £1.85 7.14%
1943 £1.91 3.33%
1944 £1.96 2.82%
1945 £2.02 2.75%
1946 £2.08 3.05%
1947 £2.22 7.04%
1948 £2.39 7.61%
1949 £2.46 2.89%
1950 £2.54 3.13%
1951 £2.77 9.09%
1952 £3.02 9.17%
1953 £3.12 3.05%
1954 £3.18 1.98%
1955 £3.32 4.36%
1956 £3.48 5.10%
1957 £3.61 3.53%
1958 £3.72 3.20%
1959 £3.74 0.41%
1960 £3.78 1.03%
1961 £3.91 3.46%
1962 £4.08 4.33%
1963 £4.15 1.89%
1964 £4.29 3.33%
1965 £4.49 4.66%
1966 £4.67 3.94%
1967 £4.79 2.64%
1968 £5.02 4.65%
1969 £5.28 5.37%
1970 £5.62 6.40%
1971 £6.15 9.44%
1972 £6.59 7.13%
1973 £7.19 9.10%
1974 £8.35 16.04%
1975 £10.37 24.24%
1976 £12.08 16.54%
1977 £14.00 15.85%
1978 £15.16 8.30%
1979 £17.19 13.39%
1980 £20.28 17.99%
1981 £22.69 11.87%
1982 £24.65 8.61%
1983 £25.78 4.59%
1984 £27.06 4.98%
1985 £28.71 6.08%
1986 £29.68 3.40%
1987 £30.92 4.17%
1988 £32.44 4.90%
1989 £34.96 7.78%
1990 £38.27 9.46%
1991 £40.52 5.87%
1992 £42.03 3.74%
1993 £42.70 1.59%
1994 £43.73 2.41%
1995 £45.25 3.47%
1996 £46.34 2.41%
1997 £47.79 3.14%
1998 £49.43 3.43%
1999 £50.19 1.54%
2000 £51.68 2.96%
2001 £52.59 1.77%
2002 £53.47 1.67%
2003 £55.02 2.89%
2004 £56.65 2.98%
2005 £58.25 2.82%
2006 £60.12 3.20%
2007 £62.69 4.29%
2008 £65.19 3.99%
2009 £64.85 -0.53%
2010 £67.84 4.61%
2011 £71.37 5.20%
2012 £73.66 3.21%
2013 £75.90 3.04%
2014 £77.69 2.36%
2015 £78.46 0.99%
2016 £79.82 1.74%
2017 £82.68 3.58%
2018 £84.74 2.48%
2019 £86.26 1.80%
2020 £87.56 1.50%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.

This conversion table shows various other 1916 amounts in 1920 pounds, based on the -48.62% change in prices:

Conversion Table: Value of a pound in 1920
Initial value Equivalent value
£1 pound in 1916 £1.95 pounds in 1920
£5 pounds in 1916 £9.73 pounds in 1920
£10 pounds in 1916 £19.46 pounds in 1920
£50 pounds in 1916 £97.31 pounds in 1920
£100 pounds in 1916 £194.62 pounds in 1920
£500 pounds in 1916 £973.08 pounds in 1920
£1,000 pounds in 1916 £1,946.15 pounds in 1920
£5,000 pounds in 1916 £9,730.77 pounds in 1920
£10,000 pounds in 1916 £19,461.54 pounds in 1920
£50,000 pounds in 1916 £97,307.69 pounds in 1920
£100,000 pounds in 1916 £194,615.38 pounds in 1920
£500,000 pounds in 1916 £973,076.92 pounds in 1920
£1,000,000 pounds in 1916 £1,946,153.85 pounds in 1920

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for £1, 1916 to 1920

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1916 and 1920:

CPI in 1916 CPI in 1920
×
1920 GBP value
=
1916 GBP value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.K. CPI was 25.3 in the year 1920 and 13 in 1916:

1325.3
×
£1
=
£0.51

£1 in 1920 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as £0.51 in 1916.

To get the total inflation rate for the 4 years between 1916 and 1920, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1916 - CPI in 1920CPI in 1920
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (4 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

13 - 25.325.3
×
100
=
-49%

News headlines from 1916

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

  • The League of Nations' first assembly takes place in Paris.
  • The British Parliament passes the Fourth Home Rule Act, dividing Ireland into two parts and leading to a yearlong Anglo-Irish war in the southern counties.
  • The Catholic Church canonizes Joan of Arc, formally making her a saint.
  • The 19th Amendment to the constitution is ratified, granting U.S. woman suffrage for the first time.

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 1920 → 1916 | UK Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 30 May. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/uk/inflation/1920?amount=1&endYear=1916.

Special thanks to QuickChart for providing downloadable chart images.

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 1920 to 1916
Cumulative price change -48.62%
Average inflation rate 18.11%
Converted amount (£1 base) £0.51
Price difference (£1 base) £-0.49
CPI in 1920 25.300
CPI in 1916 13.000
Inflation in 1916 18.18%
Inflation in 1920 15.53%