$1 in 1790 is worth $1.38 in 1797

Value of $1 from 1790 to 1797

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 1797 are 38.04% higher than average prices since 1790. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 4.71% per year during this period, causing the real value of a dollar to decrease.

In other words, $1 in 1790 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.38 in 1797, a difference of $0.38 over 7 years.

The 1790 inflation rate was 4.55%. The inflation rate in 1797 was -3.79%. The 1797 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 1.36% per year between 1797 and 2020.


Inflation from 1790 to 1797
Cumulative price change 38.04%
Average inflation rate 4.71%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.38
Price difference ($1 base) $0.38
CPI in 1790 9.200
CPI in 1797 12.700
Inflation in 1790 4.55%
Inflation in 1797 -3.79%

USD Inflation since 1635
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
Download

Buying power of $1 in 1790

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $1 in 1790 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $1, you would need to end with $1.38 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $1 is equivalent to $1.38 over time, that means that the "real value" of a single U.S. dollar decreases over time. In other words, a dollar will pay for fewer items at the store.

This effect explains how inflation erodes the value of a dollar over time. By calculating the value in 1790 dollars, the chart below shows how $1 is worth less over 7 years.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, each of these USD amounts below is equal in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Dollar inflation: 1790-1797
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1790 $1.00 4.55%
1791 $1.02 2.17%
1792 $1.04 2.13%
1793 $1.08 3.13%
1794 $1.20 11.11%
1795 $1.37 14.55%
1796 $1.43 4.76%
1797 $1.38 -3.79%
1798 $1.34 -3.15%
1799 $1.34 0.00%
1800 $1.37 2.44%
1801 $1.38 0.79%
1802 $1.16 -15.75%
1803 $1.23 5.61%
1804 $1.28 4.42%
1805 $1.27 -0.85%
1806 $1.33 4.27%
1807 $1.26 -4.92%
1808 $1.37 8.62%
1809 $1.34 -2.38%
1810 $1.34 0.00%
1811 $1.42 6.50%
1812 $1.45 1.53%
1813 $1.74 20.30%
1814 $1.91 10.00%
1815 $1.67 -12.50%
1816 $1.53 -8.44%
1817 $1.45 -5.67%
1818 $1.38 -4.51%
1819 $1.38 0.00%
1820 $1.27 -7.87%
1821 $1.23 -3.42%
1822 $1.27 3.54%
1823 $1.14 -10.26%
1824 $1.05 -7.62%
1825 $1.08 2.06%
1826 $1.08 0.00%
1827 $1.09 1.01%
1828 $1.03 -5.00%
1829 $1.01 -2.11%
1830 $1.00 -1.08%
1831 $0.95 -5.43%
1832 $0.93 -1.15%
1833 $0.91 -2.33%
1834 $0.93 2.38%
1835 $0.96 2.33%
1836 $1.01 5.68%
1837 $1.04 3.23%
1838 $1.01 -3.12%
1839 $1.01 0.00%
1840 $0.95 -6.45%
1841 $0.95 0.00%
1842 $0.89 -5.75%
1843 $0.80 -9.76%
1844 $0.82 1.35%
1845 $0.83 1.33%
1846 $0.84 1.32%
1847 $0.89 6.49%
1848 $0.86 -3.66%
1849 $0.84 -2.53%
1850 $0.85 1.30%
1851 $0.84 -1.28%
1852 $0.84 0.00%
1853 $0.84 0.00%
1854 $0.91 9.09%
1855 $0.95 3.57%
1856 $0.92 -2.30%
1857 $0.95 2.35%
1858 $0.89 -5.75%
1859 $0.90 1.22%
1860 $0.90 0.00%
1861 $0.96 6.02%
1862 $1.10 14.77%
1863 $1.37 24.75%
1864 $1.71 24.60%
1865 $1.77 3.82%
1866 $1.73 -2.45%
1867 $1.61 -6.92%
1868 $1.54 -4.05%
1869 $1.48 -4.23%
1870 $1.42 -3.68%
1871 $1.33 -6.87%
1872 $1.33 0.00%
1873 $1.30 -1.64%
1874 $1.24 -5.00%
1875 $1.20 -3.51%
1876 $1.16 -2.73%
1877 $1.14 -1.87%
1878 $1.09 -4.76%
1879 $1.09 0.00%
1880 $1.11 2.00%
1881 $1.11 0.00%
1882 $1.11 0.00%
1883 $1.10 -0.98%
1884 $1.07 -2.97%
1885 $1.05 -1.02%
1886 $1.02 -3.09%
1887 $1.03 1.06%
1888 $1.03 0.00%
1889 $1.00 -3.16%
1890 $0.99 -1.09%
1891 $0.99 0.00%
1892 $0.99 0.00%
1893 $0.98 -1.10%
1894 $0.93 -4.44%
1895 $0.91 -2.33%
1896 $0.91 0.00%
1897 $0.90 -1.19%
1898 $0.90 0.00%
1899 $0.90 0.00%
1900 $0.91 1.20%
1901 $0.92 1.19%
1902 $0.93 1.18%
1903 $0.96 2.33%
1904 $0.97 1.14%
1905 $0.96 -1.12%
1906 $0.98 2.27%
1907 $1.02 4.44%
1908 $1.00 -2.13%
1909 $0.99 -1.09%
1910 $1.03 4.40%
1911 $1.03 0.00%
1912 $1.05 2.11%
1913 $1.08 2.06%
1914 $1.09 1.01%
1915 $1.10 1.00%
1916 $1.18 7.92%
1917 $1.39 17.43%
1918 $1.64 17.97%
1919 $1.88 14.57%
1920 $2.17 15.61%
1921 $1.95 -10.50%
1922 $1.83 -6.15%
1923 $1.86 1.79%
1924 $1.86 0.00%
1925 $1.90 2.34%
1926 $1.92 1.14%
1927 $1.89 -1.69%
1928 $1.86 -1.72%
1929 $1.86 0.00%
1930 $1.82 -2.34%
1931 $1.65 -8.98%
1932 $1.49 -9.87%
1933 $1.41 -5.11%
1934 $1.46 3.08%
1935 $1.49 2.24%
1936 $1.51 1.46%
1937 $1.57 3.60%
1938 $1.53 -2.08%
1939 $1.51 -1.42%
1940 $1.52 0.72%
1941 $1.60 5.00%
1942 $1.77 10.88%
1943 $1.88 6.13%
1944 $1.91 1.73%
1945 $1.96 2.27%
1946 $2.12 8.33%
1947 $2.42 14.36%
1948 $2.62 8.07%
1949 $2.59 -1.24%
1950 $2.62 1.26%
1951 $2.83 7.88%
1952 $2.88 1.92%
1953 $2.90 0.75%
1954 $2.92 0.75%
1955 $2.91 -0.37%
1956 $2.96 1.49%
1957 $3.05 3.31%
1958 $3.14 2.85%
1959 $3.16 0.69%
1960 $3.22 1.72%
1961 $3.25 1.01%
1962 $3.28 1.00%
1963 $3.33 1.32%
1964 $3.37 1.31%
1965 $3.42 1.61%
1966 $3.52 2.86%
1967 $3.63 3.09%
1968 $3.78 4.19%
1969 $3.99 5.46%
1970 $4.22 5.72%
1971 $4.40 4.38%
1972 $4.54 3.21%
1973 $4.83 6.22%
1974 $5.36 11.04%
1975 $5.85 9.13%
1976 $6.18 5.76%
1977 $6.59 6.50%
1978 $7.09 7.59%
1979 $7.89 11.35%
1980 $8.96 13.50%
1981 $9.88 10.32%
1982 $10.49 6.16%
1983 $10.83 3.21%
1984 $11.29 4.32%
1985 $11.70 3.56%
1986 $11.91 1.86%
1987 $12.35 3.65%
1988 $12.86 4.14%
1989 $13.48 4.82%
1990 $14.21 5.40%
1991 $14.80 4.21%
1992 $15.25 3.01%
1993 $15.71 2.99%
1994 $16.11 2.56%
1995 $16.57 2.83%
1996 $17.05 2.95%
1997 $17.45 2.29%
1998 $17.72 1.56%
1999 $18.11 2.21%
2000 $18.72 3.36%
2001 $19.25 2.85%
2002 $19.55 1.58%
2003 $20.00 2.28%
2004 $20.53 2.66%
2005 $21.23 3.39%
2006 $21.91 3.23%
2007 $22.54 2.85%
2008 $23.40 3.84%
2009 $23.32 -0.36%
2010 $23.70 1.64%
2011 $24.45 3.16%
2012 $24.96 2.07%
2013 $25.32 1.46%
2014 $25.73 1.62%
2015 $25.76 0.12%
2016 $26.09 1.26%
2017 $26.64 2.13%
2018 $27.31 2.49%
2019 $27.79 1.76%
2020 $28.16 1.35%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.

This conversion table shows various other 1790 amounts in 1797 dollars, based on the 38.04% change in prices:

Conversion Table: Value of a dollar in 1797
Initial value Equivalent value
$1 dollar in 1790 $1.38 dollars in 1797
$5 dollars in 1790 $6.90 dollars in 1797
$10 dollars in 1790 $13.80 dollars in 1797
$50 dollars in 1790 $69.02 dollars in 1797
$100 dollars in 1790 $138.04 dollars in 1797
$500 dollars in 1790 $690.22 dollars in 1797
$1,000 dollars in 1790 $1,380.43 dollars in 1797
$5,000 dollars in 1790 $6,902.17 dollars in 1797
$10,000 dollars in 1790 $13,804.35 dollars in 1797
$50,000 dollars in 1790 $69,021.74 dollars in 1797
$100,000 dollars in 1790 $138,043.48 dollars in 1797
$500,000 dollars in 1790 $690,217.39 dollars in 1797
$1,000,000 dollars in 1790 $1,380,434.78 dollars in 1797

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1790 would be equivalent to £1.20 in 1797, an absolute change of £0.20 and a cumulative change of 20.00%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $0.38 and total percent change of 38.04%.


Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. Breaking down these categories helps explain the main drivers behind price changes. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1790 and 1797.

Compare these values to the overall average of 4.71% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1 in 1790 → 1797
Food and beverages 0.00 0.00 1.00
Housing 0.00 0.00 1.00
Apparel 0.00 0.00 1.00
Transportation 0.00 0.00 1.00
Medical care 0.00 0.00 1.00
Recreation 0.00 0.00 1.00
Education and communication 0.00 0.00 1.00
Other goods and services 0.00 0.00 1.00

The graph below compares inflation in categories of goods over time. Click on a category such as "Food" to toggle it on or off:

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 1790. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1, 1790 to 1797

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1790 and 1797:

CPI in 1797 CPI in 1790
×
1790 USD value
=
1797 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 9.2 in the year 1790 and 12.7 in 1797:

12.79.2
×
$1
=
$1.38

$1 in 1790 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1.38 in 1797.

To get the total inflation rate for the 7 years between 1790 and 1797, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1797 - CPI in 1790CPI in 1790
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (7 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

12.7 - 9.29.2
×
100
=
38%

News headlines from 1790

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

  • George Washington, delivers his first State of the Union address as president.
  • The Swedish navy capture a third of the Russian fleet in the Second Battle of Svensksund.
  • Columbia Rediviva, returns to Boston, having become the first American ship to circumnavigate the world.
  • Turkish fortress of Izmail, thought to be impenetrable, is captured by the Russians under the command of Suvorov.

Data Source & Citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (CPI), established in 1913. Inflation data from 1665 to 1912 is sourced from a historical study conducted by political science professor Robert Sahr at Oregon State University.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “$1 in 1790 → 1797 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 15 Aug. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1790?amount=1&endYear=1797.

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 1790 to 1797
Cumulative price change 38.04%
Average inflation rate 4.71%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.38
Price difference ($1 base) $0.38
CPI in 1790 9.200
CPI in 1797 12.700
Inflation in 1790 4.55%
Inflation in 1797 -3.79%