# \$1 in 1800 is worth \$0.98 in 1798

\$

## Value of \$1 from 1800 to 1798

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 1798 are 2.38% lower than average prices since 1800. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 1.21% per year during this period, causing the real value of a dollar to decrease.

In other words, \$1 in 1800 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$0.98 in 1798, a difference of \$-0.02 over 2 years.

The 1798 inflation rate was -3.15%. The inflation rate in 1800 was 2.44%. The 1800 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 1.39% per year between 1800 and 2020.

 Cumulative price change -2.38% Average inflation rate 1.21% Converted amount (\$1 base) \$0.98 Price difference (\$1 base) \$-0.02 CPI in 1800 12.600 CPI in 1798 12.300 Inflation in 1798 -3.15% Inflation in 1800 2.44%

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

## Buying power of \$1 in 1798

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$1 in 1798 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$1, you would need to end with \$0.98 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When \$1 is equivalent to \$0.98 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 1798 dollars, the chart below shows how \$1 is worth less over 2 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: 1798-1800
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1798 \$1.00 -3.15%
1799 \$1.00 0.00%
1800 \$1.02 2.44%
1801 \$1.03 0.79%
1802 \$0.87 -15.75%
1803 \$0.92 5.61%
1804 \$0.96 4.42%
1805 \$0.95 -0.85%
1806 \$0.99 4.27%
1807 \$0.94 -4.92%
1808 \$1.02 8.62%
1809 \$1.00 -2.38%
1810 \$1.00 0.00%
1811 \$1.07 6.50%
1812 \$1.08 1.53%
1813 \$1.30 20.30%
1814 \$1.43 10.00%
1815 \$1.25 -12.50%
1816 \$1.15 -8.44%
1817 \$1.08 -5.67%
1818 \$1.03 -4.51%
1819 \$1.03 0.00%
1820 \$0.95 -7.87%
1821 \$0.92 -3.42%
1822 \$0.95 3.54%
1823 \$0.85 -10.26%
1824 \$0.79 -7.62%
1825 \$0.80 2.06%
1826 \$0.80 0.00%
1827 \$0.81 1.01%
1828 \$0.77 -5.00%
1829 \$0.76 -2.11%
1830 \$0.75 -1.08%
1831 \$0.71 -5.43%
1832 \$0.70 -1.15%
1833 \$0.68 -2.33%
1834 \$0.70 2.38%
1835 \$0.72 2.33%
1836 \$0.76 5.68%
1837 \$0.78 3.23%
1838 \$0.76 -3.12%
1839 \$0.76 0.00%
1840 \$0.71 -6.45%
1841 \$0.71 0.00%
1842 \$0.67 -5.75%
1843 \$0.60 -9.76%
1844 \$0.61 1.35%
1845 \$0.62 1.33%
1846 \$0.63 1.32%
1847 \$0.67 6.49%
1848 \$0.64 -3.66%
1849 \$0.63 -2.53%
1850 \$0.63 1.30%
1851 \$0.63 -1.28%
1852 \$0.63 0.00%
1853 \$0.63 0.00%
1854 \$0.68 9.09%
1855 \$0.71 3.57%
1856 \$0.69 -2.30%
1857 \$0.71 2.35%
1858 \$0.67 -5.75%
1859 \$0.67 1.22%
1860 \$0.67 0.00%
1861 \$0.72 6.02%
1862 \$0.82 14.77%
1863 \$1.02 24.75%
1864 \$1.28 24.60%
1865 \$1.33 3.82%
1866 \$1.29 -2.45%
1867 \$1.20 -6.92%
1868 \$1.15 -4.05%
1869 \$1.11 -4.23%
1870 \$1.07 -3.68%
1871 \$0.99 -6.87%
1872 \$0.99 0.00%
1873 \$0.98 -1.64%
1874 \$0.93 -5.00%
1875 \$0.89 -3.51%
1876 \$0.87 -2.73%
1877 \$0.85 -1.87%
1878 \$0.81 -4.76%
1879 \$0.81 0.00%
1880 \$0.83 2.00%
1881 \$0.83 0.00%
1882 \$0.83 0.00%
1883 \$0.82 -0.98%
1884 \$0.80 -2.97%
1885 \$0.79 -1.02%
1886 \$0.76 -3.09%
1887 \$0.77 1.06%
1888 \$0.77 0.00%
1889 \$0.75 -3.16%
1890 \$0.74 -1.09%
1891 \$0.74 0.00%
1892 \$0.74 0.00%
1893 \$0.73 -1.10%
1894 \$0.70 -4.44%
1895 \$0.68 -2.33%
1896 \$0.68 0.00%
1897 \$0.67 -1.19%
1898 \$0.67 0.00%
1899 \$0.67 0.00%
1900 \$0.68 1.20%
1901 \$0.69 1.19%
1902 \$0.70 1.18%
1903 \$0.72 2.33%
1904 \$0.72 1.14%
1905 \$0.72 -1.12%
1906 \$0.73 2.27%
1907 \$0.76 4.44%
1908 \$0.75 -2.13%
1909 \$0.74 -1.09%
1910 \$0.77 4.40%
1911 \$0.77 0.00%
1912 \$0.79 2.11%
1913 \$0.80 2.06%
1914 \$0.81 1.01%
1915 \$0.82 1.00%
1916 \$0.89 7.92%
1917 \$1.04 17.43%
1918 \$1.23 17.97%
1919 \$1.41 14.57%
1920 \$1.63 15.61%
1921 \$1.46 -10.50%
1922 \$1.37 -6.15%
1923 \$1.39 1.79%
1924 \$1.39 0.00%
1925 \$1.42 2.34%
1926 \$1.44 1.14%
1927 \$1.41 -1.69%
1928 \$1.39 -1.72%
1929 \$1.39 0.00%
1930 \$1.36 -2.34%
1931 \$1.24 -8.98%
1932 \$1.11 -9.87%
1933 \$1.06 -5.11%
1934 \$1.09 3.08%
1935 \$1.11 2.24%
1936 \$1.13 1.46%
1937 \$1.17 3.60%
1938 \$1.15 -2.08%
1939 \$1.13 -1.42%
1940 \$1.14 0.72%
1941 \$1.20 5.00%
1942 \$1.33 10.88%
1943 \$1.41 6.13%
1944 \$1.43 1.73%
1945 \$1.46 2.27%
1946 \$1.59 8.33%
1947 \$1.81 14.36%
1948 \$1.96 8.07%
1949 \$1.93 -1.24%
1950 \$1.96 1.26%
1951 \$2.11 7.88%
1952 \$2.15 1.92%
1953 \$2.17 0.75%
1954 \$2.19 0.75%
1955 \$2.18 -0.37%
1956 \$2.21 1.49%
1957 \$2.28 3.31%
1958 \$2.35 2.85%
1959 \$2.37 0.69%
1960 \$2.41 1.72%
1961 \$2.43 1.01%
1962 \$2.46 1.00%
1963 \$2.49 1.32%
1964 \$2.52 1.31%
1965 \$2.56 1.61%
1966 \$2.63 2.86%
1967 \$2.72 3.09%
1968 \$2.83 4.19%
1969 \$2.98 5.46%
1970 \$3.15 5.72%
1971 \$3.29 4.38%
1972 \$3.40 3.21%
1973 \$3.61 6.22%
1974 \$4.01 11.04%
1975 \$4.37 9.13%
1976 \$4.63 5.76%
1977 \$4.93 6.50%
1978 \$5.30 7.59%
1979 \$5.90 11.35%
1980 \$6.70 13.50%
1981 \$7.39 10.32%
1982 \$7.85 6.16%
1983 \$8.10 3.21%
1984 \$8.45 4.32%
1985 \$8.75 3.56%
1986 \$8.91 1.86%
1987 \$9.24 3.65%
1988 \$9.62 4.14%
1989 \$10.08 4.82%
1990 \$10.63 5.40%
1991 \$11.07 4.21%
1992 \$11.41 3.01%
1993 \$11.75 2.99%
1994 \$12.05 2.56%
1995 \$12.39 2.83%
1996 \$12.76 2.95%
1997 \$13.05 2.29%
1998 \$13.25 1.56%
1999 \$13.54 2.21%
2000 \$14.00 3.36%
2001 \$14.40 2.85%
2002 \$14.63 1.58%
2003 \$14.96 2.28%
2004 \$15.36 2.66%
2005 \$15.88 3.39%
2006 \$16.39 3.23%
2007 \$16.86 2.85%
2008 \$17.50 3.84%
2009 \$17.44 -0.36%
2010 \$17.73 1.64%
2011 \$18.29 3.16%
2012 \$18.67 2.07%
2013 \$18.94 1.46%
2014 \$19.25 1.62%
2015 \$19.27 0.12%
2016 \$19.51 1.26%
2017 \$19.93 2.13%
2018 \$20.43 2.49%
2019 \$20.79 1.76%
2020 \$21.13 1.67%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.

This conversion table shows various other 1798 amounts in 1800 dollars, based on the -2.38% change in prices:

Conversion Table: Value of a dollar in 1800
Initial value Equivalent value
\$1 dollar in 1798 \$1.02 dollars in 1800
\$5 dollars in 1798 \$5.12 dollars in 1800
\$10 dollars in 1798 \$10.24 dollars in 1800
\$50 dollars in 1798 \$51.22 dollars in 1800
\$100 dollars in 1798 \$102.44 dollars in 1800
\$500 dollars in 1798 \$512.20 dollars in 1800
\$1,000 dollars in 1798 \$1,024.39 dollars in 1800
\$5,000 dollars in 1798 \$5,121.95 dollars in 1800
\$10,000 dollars in 1798 \$10,243.90 dollars in 1800
\$50,000 dollars in 1798 \$51,219.51 dollars in 1800
\$100,000 dollars in 1798 \$102,439.02 dollars in 1800
\$500,000 dollars in 1798 \$512,195.12 dollars in 1800
\$1,000,000 dollars in 1798 \$1,024,390.24 dollars in 1800

## Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1800 would be equivalent to £0.65 in 1798, an absolute change of £-0.35 and a cumulative change of -34.81%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$-0.02 and total percent change of -2.38%.

## 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 1800 and 1798.

Compare these values to the overall average of 1.21% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$1 in 1798 → 1800
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 1800. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

## How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$1, 1798 to 1800

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1798 and 1800:

CPI in 1798 CPI in 1800
×
1800 USD value
=
1798 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 12.6 in the year 1800 and 12.3 in 1798:

12.312.6
×
\$1
=
\$0.98

\$1 in 1800 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$0.98 in 1798.

To get the total inflation rate for the 2 years between 1798 and 1800, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1798 - CPI in 1800CPI in 1800
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (2 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

12.3 - 12.612.6
×
100
=
-2%

## News headlines from 1798

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

• First session of Congress held at under-construction Capitol building in Washington D.C.
• First cowpox vaccination (for smallpox prevention) in the United States. The vaccine was given by Dr Benjamin Waterhouse to his son.
• The free African American community of Philadelphia submits its first petition to US Congress for the abolition of slavery.
• Barnaba Niccoclo Maria Luigi Chiaramonti elected pope, taking the name Pope Pius VII.
• A Smallpox vaccine is invented by Doctor Benjamin Waterhouse leading to the first immunization against the disease.
• Congress holds its first session in the, at the time, still incomplete Capitol building in Washington D.C.
• The French army defeats the Turks at Helipolis, after which they advanced on to Cairo.

## 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 1800 → 1798 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 28 Sep. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1800?amount=1&endYear=1798.

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.

#### 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.

 Cumulative price change -2.38% Average inflation rate 1.21% Converted amount (\$1 base) \$0.98 Price difference (\$1 base) \$-0.02 CPI in 1800 12.600 CPI in 1798 12.300 Inflation in 1798 -3.15% Inflation in 1800 2.44%