£100 in 1981 is worth £453.03 today

The British pound has lost 78% its value since 1981

Updated: November 10, 2022

£100 in 1981 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £453.03 today, an increase of £353.03 over 41 years. The pound had an average inflation rate of 3.75% per year between 1981 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 353.03%.

This means that today's prices are 4.53 times higher than average prices since 1981, according to the Office for National Statistics composite price index. A pound today only buys 22.074% of what it could buy back then.

The inflation rate in 1981 was 11.87%. The current inflation rate compared to last year is now 13.20%. If this number holds, £100 today will be equivalent in buying power to £113.20 next year.


Inflation from 1981 to 2022
Cumulative price change353.03%
Average inflation rate3.75%
Converted amount (£100 base)£453.03
Price difference (£100 base)£353.03
CPI in 1981295.000
CPI in 20221,336.427
Inflation in 198111.87%
Inflation in 202213.20%
£100 in 1981£453.03 in 2022

GBP inflation since 1981
Annual Rate, the Office for National Statistics CPI
Download

Buying power of £100 in 1981

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for £100 in 1981 (price index tracking began in 1750).

For example, if you started with £100, you would need to end with £453.03 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When £100 is equivalent to £453.03 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 1981 dollars, the chart below shows how £100 is worth less over 41 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: 1981-2022
YearPound ValueInflation Rate
1981£100.0011.87%
1982£108.618.61%
1983£113.594.59%
1984£119.254.98%
1985£126.516.08%
1986£130.813.40%
1987£136.274.17%
1988£142.954.90%
1989£154.077.78%
1990£168.649.46%
1991£178.545.87%
1992£185.223.74%
1993£188.171.59%
1994£192.712.41%
1995£199.393.47%
1996£204.202.41%
1997£210.613.14%
1998£217.833.43%
1999£221.191.54%
2000£227.732.96%
2001£231.761.77%
2002£235.631.67%
2003£242.442.89%
2004£249.662.98%
2005£256.712.82%
2006£264.923.20%
2007£276.274.29%
2008£287.293.99%
2009£285.76-0.53%
2010£298.954.61%
2011£314.515.20%
2012£324.613.21%
2013£334.473.04%
2014£342.372.36%
2015£345.760.99%
2016£351.761.74%
2017£364.373.58%
2018£374.212.70%
2019£383.572.50%
2020£390.471.80%
2021£400.202.49%
2022£453.0313.20%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 35 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1981 amounts in today's pounds, based on the 353.03% change in prices:

Conversion: 1981 pounds today
Initial valueEquivalent value
£1 pound in 1981£4.53 pounds today
£5 pounds in 1981£22.65 pounds today
£10 pounds in 1981£45.30 pounds today
£50 pounds in 1981£226.51 pounds today
£100 pounds in 1981£453.03 pounds today
£500 pounds in 1981£2,265.13 pounds today
£1,000 pounds in 1981£4,530.26 pounds today
£5,000 pounds in 1981£22,651.30 pounds today
£10,000 pounds in 1981£45,302.60 pounds today
£50,000 pounds in 1981£226,512.99 pounds today
£100,000 pounds in 1981£453,025.99 pounds today
£500,000 pounds in 1981£2,265,129.95 pounds today
£1,000,000 pounds in 1981£4,530,259.89 pounds today

How to calculate inflation rate for £100 since 1981

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1981 and today:

CPI today CPI in 1981
×
1981 GBP value
=
Today's value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.K. CPI was 295 in the year 1981 and 1336.4266687599998 in 2022:

1336.4266687599998295
×
£100
=
£453.03

£100 in 1981 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as £453.03 in 2022.

To get the total inflation rate for the 41 years between 1981 and 2022, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2022 - CPI in 1981CPI in 1981
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (41 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

1336.4266687599998 - 295295
×
100
=
353%

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 1981 British pounds today | UK Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 21 Nov. 2022, https://www.officialdata.org/uk/inflation/1981.

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.

Email · LinkedIn · Twitter


» Read more about inflation and investment.

Inflation from 1981 to 2022
Cumulative price change353.03%
Average inflation rate3.75%
Converted amount (£100 base)£453.03
Price difference (£100 base)£353.03
CPI in 1981295.000
CPI in 20221,336.427
Inflation in 198111.87%
Inflation in 202213.20%
£100 in 1981£453.03 in 2022