# \$1 in 1815 is worth \$0.73 in 1821

\$

## Value of \$1 from 1815 to 1821

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 1821 are 26.62% lower than average prices since 1815. The U.S. dollar experienced an average deflation rate of -5.03% per year during this period, causing the real value of a dollar to increase.

In other words, \$1 in 1815 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$0.73 in 1821, a difference of \$-0.27 over 6 years.

The 1815 inflation rate was -12.50%. The inflation rate in 1821 was -3.42%. The 1821 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 1.59% per year between 1821 and 2020.

 Cumulative price change -26.62% Average inflation rate -5.03% Converted amount (\$1 base) \$0.73 Price difference (\$1 base) \$-0.27 CPI in 1815 15.400 CPI in 1821 11.300 Inflation in 1815 -12.50% Inflation in 1821 -3.42%

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

## Buying power of \$1 in 1815

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$1 in 1815 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$1, you would need to end with \$0.73 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

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: 1815-1821
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1815 \$1.00 -12.50%
1816 \$0.92 -8.44%
1817 \$0.86 -5.67%
1818 \$0.82 -4.51%
1819 \$0.82 0.00%
1820 \$0.76 -7.87%
1821 \$0.73 -3.42%
1822 \$0.76 3.54%
1823 \$0.68 -10.26%
1824 \$0.63 -7.62%
1825 \$0.64 2.06%
1826 \$0.64 0.00%
1827 \$0.65 1.01%
1828 \$0.62 -5.00%
1829 \$0.60 -2.11%
1830 \$0.60 -1.08%
1831 \$0.56 -5.43%
1832 \$0.56 -1.15%
1833 \$0.55 -2.33%
1834 \$0.56 2.38%
1835 \$0.57 2.33%
1836 \$0.60 5.68%
1837 \$0.62 3.23%
1838 \$0.60 -3.12%
1839 \$0.60 0.00%
1840 \$0.56 -6.45%
1841 \$0.56 0.00%
1842 \$0.53 -5.75%
1843 \$0.48 -9.76%
1844 \$0.49 1.35%
1845 \$0.49 1.33%
1846 \$0.50 1.32%
1847 \$0.53 6.49%
1848 \$0.51 -3.66%
1849 \$0.50 -2.53%
1850 \$0.51 1.30%
1851 \$0.50 -1.28%
1852 \$0.50 0.00%
1853 \$0.50 0.00%
1854 \$0.55 9.09%
1855 \$0.56 3.57%
1856 \$0.55 -2.30%
1857 \$0.56 2.35%
1858 \$0.53 -5.75%
1859 \$0.54 1.22%
1860 \$0.54 0.00%
1861 \$0.57 6.02%
1862 \$0.66 14.77%
1863 \$0.82 24.75%
1864 \$1.02 24.60%
1865 \$1.06 3.82%
1866 \$1.03 -2.45%
1867 \$0.96 -6.92%
1868 \$0.92 -4.05%
1869 \$0.88 -4.23%
1870 \$0.85 -3.68%
1871 \$0.79 -6.87%
1872 \$0.79 0.00%
1873 \$0.78 -1.64%
1874 \$0.74 -5.00%
1875 \$0.71 -3.51%
1876 \$0.69 -2.73%
1877 \$0.68 -1.87%
1878 \$0.65 -4.76%
1879 \$0.65 0.00%
1880 \$0.66 2.00%
1881 \$0.66 0.00%
1882 \$0.66 0.00%
1883 \$0.66 -0.98%
1884 \$0.64 -2.97%
1885 \$0.63 -1.02%
1886 \$0.61 -3.09%
1887 \$0.62 1.06%
1888 \$0.62 0.00%
1889 \$0.60 -3.16%
1890 \$0.59 -1.09%
1891 \$0.59 0.00%
1892 \$0.59 0.00%
1893 \$0.58 -1.10%
1894 \$0.56 -4.44%
1895 \$0.55 -2.33%
1896 \$0.55 0.00%
1897 \$0.54 -1.19%
1898 \$0.54 0.00%
1899 \$0.54 0.00%
1900 \$0.55 1.20%
1901 \$0.55 1.19%
1902 \$0.56 1.18%
1903 \$0.57 2.33%
1904 \$0.58 1.14%
1905 \$0.57 -1.12%
1906 \$0.58 2.27%
1907 \$0.61 4.44%
1908 \$0.60 -2.13%
1909 \$0.59 -1.09%
1910 \$0.62 4.40%
1911 \$0.62 0.00%
1912 \$0.63 2.11%
1913 \$0.64 2.06%
1914 \$0.65 1.01%
1915 \$0.66 1.00%
1916 \$0.71 7.92%
1917 \$0.83 17.43%
1918 \$0.98 17.97%
1919 \$1.12 14.57%
1920 \$1.30 15.61%
1921 \$1.16 -10.50%
1922 \$1.09 -6.15%
1923 \$1.11 1.79%
1924 \$1.11 0.00%
1925 \$1.14 2.34%
1926 \$1.15 1.14%
1927 \$1.13 -1.69%
1928 \$1.11 -1.72%
1929 \$1.11 0.00%
1930 \$1.08 -2.34%
1931 \$0.99 -8.98%
1932 \$0.89 -9.87%
1933 \$0.84 -5.11%
1934 \$0.87 3.08%
1935 \$0.89 2.24%
1936 \$0.90 1.46%
1937 \$0.94 3.60%
1938 \$0.92 -2.08%
1939 \$0.90 -1.42%
1940 \$0.91 0.72%
1941 \$0.95 5.00%
1942 \$1.06 10.88%
1943 \$1.12 6.13%
1944 \$1.14 1.73%
1945 \$1.17 2.27%
1946 \$1.27 8.33%
1947 \$1.45 14.36%
1948 \$1.56 8.07%
1949 \$1.55 -1.24%
1950 \$1.56 1.26%
1951 \$1.69 7.88%
1952 \$1.72 1.92%
1953 \$1.73 0.75%
1954 \$1.75 0.75%
1955 \$1.74 -0.37%
1956 \$1.77 1.49%
1957 \$1.82 3.31%
1958 \$1.88 2.85%
1959 \$1.89 0.69%
1960 \$1.92 1.72%
1961 \$1.94 1.01%
1962 \$1.96 1.00%
1963 \$1.99 1.32%
1964 \$2.01 1.31%
1965 \$2.05 1.61%
1966 \$2.10 2.86%
1967 \$2.17 3.09%
1968 \$2.26 4.19%
1969 \$2.38 5.46%
1970 \$2.52 5.72%
1971 \$2.63 4.38%
1972 \$2.71 3.21%
1973 \$2.88 6.22%
1974 \$3.20 11.04%
1975 \$3.49 9.13%
1976 \$3.69 5.76%
1977 \$3.94 6.50%
1978 \$4.23 7.59%
1979 \$4.71 11.35%
1980 \$5.35 13.50%
1981 \$5.90 10.32%
1982 \$6.27 6.16%
1983 \$6.47 3.21%
1984 \$6.75 4.32%
1985 \$6.99 3.56%
1986 \$7.12 1.86%
1987 \$7.38 3.65%
1988 \$7.68 4.14%
1989 \$8.05 4.82%
1990 \$8.49 5.40%
1991 \$8.84 4.21%
1992 \$9.11 3.01%
1993 \$9.38 2.99%
1994 \$9.62 2.56%
1995 \$9.90 2.83%
1996 \$10.19 2.95%
1997 \$10.42 2.29%
1998 \$10.58 1.56%
1999 \$10.82 2.21%
2000 \$11.18 3.36%
2001 \$11.50 2.85%
2002 \$11.68 1.58%
2003 \$11.95 2.28%
2004 \$12.27 2.66%
2005 \$12.68 3.39%
2006 \$13.09 3.23%
2007 \$13.46 2.85%
2008 \$13.98 3.84%
2009 \$13.93 -0.36%
2010 \$14.16 1.64%
2011 \$14.61 3.16%
2012 \$14.91 2.07%
2013 \$15.13 1.46%
2014 \$15.37 1.62%
2015 \$15.39 0.12%
2016 \$15.58 1.26%
2017 \$15.92 2.13%
2018 \$16.31 2.49%
2019 \$16.60 1.76%
2020 \$16.82 1.35%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.

This conversion table shows various other 1815 amounts in 1821 dollars, based on the -26.62% change in prices:

Conversion Table: Value of a dollar in 1821
Initial value Equivalent value
\$1 dollar in 1815 \$0.73 dollars in 1821
\$5 dollars in 1815 \$3.67 dollars in 1821
\$10 dollars in 1815 \$7.34 dollars in 1821
\$50 dollars in 1815 \$36.69 dollars in 1821
\$100 dollars in 1815 \$73.38 dollars in 1821
\$500 dollars in 1815 \$366.88 dollars in 1821
\$1,000 dollars in 1815 \$733.77 dollars in 1821
\$5,000 dollars in 1815 \$3,668.83 dollars in 1821
\$10,000 dollars in 1815 \$7,337.66 dollars in 1821
\$50,000 dollars in 1815 \$36,688.31 dollars in 1821
\$100,000 dollars in 1815 \$73,376.62 dollars in 1821
\$500,000 dollars in 1815 \$366,883.12 dollars in 1821
\$1,000,000 dollars in 1815 \$733,766.23 dollars in 1821

## Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1815 would be equivalent to £0.81 in 1821, an absolute change of £-0.19 and a cumulative change of -18.90%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$-0.27 and total percent change of -26.62%.

## 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 1815 and 1821.

Compare these values to the overall average of -5.03% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$1 in 1815 → 1821
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 1815. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

## How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$1, 1815 to 1821

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1815 and 1821:

CPI in 1821 CPI in 1815
×
1815 USD value
=
1821 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 15.4 in the year 1815 and 11.3 in 1821:

11.315.4
×
\$1
=
\$0.73

\$1 in 1815 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$0.73 in 1821.

To get the total inflation rate for the 6 years between 1815 and 1821, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1821 - CPI in 1815CPI in 1815
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (6 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

11.3 - 15.415.4
×
100
=
-27%

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

• Napoleon leaves Elba in order to reconnect with his supporters in France.
• Napoleon returns to Paris and begins his 100-day rule until his defeat in the Battle of Waterloo.
• The Holy Alliance is signed by Russia, Prussia and Austria
• Napoleon Bonaparte arrives on the island of Saint Hellena to begin his exile

## 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 1815 → 1821 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 15 Aug. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1815?amount=1&endYear=1821.

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.