£100 in 1981 → £385.85 in 2020

UK Inflation Calculator

£

U.K. Inflation Rate, £100 from 1981 to 2020

According to the Office for National Statistics composite price index, today's prices in 2020 are 285.85% higher than average prices since 1981. The British pound experienced an average inflation rate of 3.52% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a pound decreased.

In other words, £100 in 1981 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £385.85 in 2020, a difference of £285.85 over 39 years.

The 1981 inflation rate was 11.87%. The current 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 1981 to 2020
Cumulative price change 285.85%
Average inflation rate 3.52%
Converted amount (£100 base) £385.85
Price difference (£100 base) £285.85
CPI in 1981 295.000
CPI in 2020 1,138.243
Inflation in 1981 11.87%
Inflation in 2020 1.50%

GBP Inflation since 1750
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 £385.85 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When £100 is equivalent to £385.85 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 buys less over the past 39 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:

Year Pound Value Inflation Rate
1981 £100.00 11.87%
1982 £108.61 8.61%
1983 £113.59 4.59%
1984 £119.25 4.98%
1985 £126.51 6.08%
1986 £130.81 3.40%
1987 £136.27 4.17%
1988 £142.95 4.90%
1989 £154.07 7.78%
1990 £168.64 9.46%
1991 £178.54 5.87%
1992 £185.22 3.74%
1993 £188.17 1.59%
1994 £192.71 2.41%
1995 £199.39 3.47%
1996 £204.20 2.41%
1997 £210.61 3.14%
1998 £217.83 3.43%
1999 £221.19 1.54%
2000 £227.73 2.96%
2001 £231.76 1.77%
2002 £235.63 1.67%
2003 £242.44 2.89%
2004 £249.66 2.98%
2005 £256.71 2.82%
2006 £264.92 3.20%
2007 £276.27 4.29%
2008 £287.29 3.99%
2009 £285.76 -0.53%
2010 £298.95 4.61%
2011 £314.51 5.20%
2012 £324.61 3.21%
2013 £334.47 3.04%
2014 £342.37 2.36%
2015 £345.76 0.99%
2016 £351.76 1.74%
2017 £364.37 3.58%
2018 £373.42 2.48%
2019 £380.14 1.80%
2020 £385.85 1.50%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 33 more rows

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for £100 since 1981

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2020CPI in 1981
×
1981 GBP value
=
2020 GBP value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.K. CPI was 295 in the year 1981 and 1138.2433607545 in 2020:

1138.2433607545295
×
£100
=
£385.85

£100 in 1981 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as £385.85 in 2020.

To get the total inflation rate for the 39 years between 1981 and 2020, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2020 - CPI in 1981CPI in 1981
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (39 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

1138.2433607545 - 295295
×
100
=
286%

News headlines from 1981

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

  • Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as the President of the United States.
  • IBM introduces its first PC - Personal Computer.
  • United States Center for Disease Control reports that pneumonia is affecting five homosexual men in Los Angeles, which marks the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.

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: “1981 pounds in 2020 | UK Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 25 Mar. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/uk/inflation/1981.

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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Inflation from 1981 to 2020
Cumulative price change 285.85%
Average inflation rate 3.52%
Converted amount (£100 base) £385.85
Price difference (£100 base) £285.85
CPI in 1981 295.000
CPI in 2020 1,138.243
Inflation in 1981 11.87%
Inflation in 2020 1.50%