\$100 in 1855 is worth \$2,974.85 in 2020

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Value of \$100 from 1855 to 2020

\$100 in 1855 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$2,974.85 in 2020, an increase of \$2,874.85 over 165 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 2.08% per year between 1855 and 2020, producing a cumulative price increase of 2,874.85%.

This means that prices in 2020 are 29.75 times higher than average prices since 1855, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The 1855 inflation rate was 3.57%. The inflation rate in 2020 was 1.23%. The 2020 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 4.98% per year between 2020 and 2021.

 Cumulative price change 2,874.85% Average inflation rate 2.08% Converted amount (\$100 base) \$2,974.85 Price difference (\$100 base) \$2,874.85 CPI in 1855 8.700 CPI in 2020 258.812 Inflation in 1855 3.57% Inflation in 2020 1.23% \$100 in 1855 \$2,974.85 in 2020

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

Buying power of \$100 in 1855

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$100 in 1855 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$100, you would need to end with \$2,974.85 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When \$100 is equivalent to \$2,974.85 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 1855 dollars, the chart below shows how \$100 is worth less over 165 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: 1855-2020
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1855 \$100.00 3.57%
1856 \$97.70 -2.30%
1857 \$100.00 2.35%
1858 \$94.25 -5.75%
1859 \$95.40 1.22%
1860 \$95.40 0.00%
1861 \$101.15 6.02%
1862 \$116.09 14.77%
1863 \$144.83 24.75%
1864 \$180.46 24.60%
1865 \$187.36 3.82%
1866 \$182.76 -2.45%
1867 \$170.11 -6.92%
1868 \$163.22 -4.05%
1869 \$156.32 -4.23%
1870 \$150.57 -3.68%
1871 \$140.23 -6.87%
1872 \$140.23 0.00%
1873 \$137.93 -1.64%
1874 \$131.03 -5.00%
1875 \$126.44 -3.51%
1876 \$122.99 -2.73%
1877 \$120.69 -1.87%
1878 \$114.94 -4.76%
1879 \$114.94 0.00%
1880 \$117.24 2.00%
1881 \$117.24 0.00%
1882 \$117.24 0.00%
1883 \$116.09 -0.98%
1884 \$112.64 -2.97%
1885 \$111.49 -1.02%
1886 \$108.05 -3.09%
1887 \$109.20 1.06%
1888 \$109.20 0.00%
1889 \$105.75 -3.16%
1890 \$104.60 -1.09%
1891 \$104.60 0.00%
1892 \$104.60 0.00%
1893 \$103.45 -1.10%
1894 \$98.85 -4.44%
1895 \$96.55 -2.33%
1896 \$96.55 0.00%
1897 \$95.40 -1.19%
1898 \$95.40 0.00%
1899 \$95.40 0.00%
1900 \$96.55 1.20%
1901 \$97.70 1.19%
1902 \$98.85 1.18%
1903 \$101.15 2.33%
1904 \$102.30 1.14%
1905 \$101.15 -1.12%
1906 \$103.45 2.27%
1907 \$108.05 4.44%
1908 \$105.75 -2.13%
1909 \$104.60 -1.09%
1910 \$109.20 4.40%
1911 \$109.20 0.00%
1912 \$111.49 2.11%
1913 \$113.79 2.06%
1914 \$114.94 1.01%
1915 \$116.09 1.00%
1916 \$125.29 7.92%
1917 \$147.13 17.43%
1918 \$173.56 17.97%
1919 \$198.85 14.57%
1920 \$229.89 15.61%
1921 \$205.75 -10.50%
1922 \$193.10 -6.15%
1923 \$196.55 1.79%
1924 \$196.55 0.00%
1925 \$201.15 2.34%
1926 \$203.45 1.14%
1927 \$200.00 -1.69%
1928 \$196.55 -1.72%
1929 \$196.55 0.00%
1930 \$191.95 -2.34%
1931 \$174.71 -8.98%
1932 \$157.47 -9.87%
1933 \$149.43 -5.11%
1934 \$154.02 3.08%
1935 \$157.47 2.24%
1936 \$159.77 1.46%
1937 \$165.52 3.60%
1938 \$162.07 -2.08%
1939 \$159.77 -1.42%
1940 \$160.92 0.72%
1941 \$168.97 5.00%
1942 \$187.36 10.88%
1943 \$198.85 6.13%
1944 \$202.30 1.73%
1945 \$206.90 2.27%
1946 \$224.14 8.33%
1947 \$256.32 14.36%
1948 \$277.01 8.07%
1949 \$273.56 -1.24%
1950 \$277.01 1.26%
1951 \$298.85 7.88%
1952 \$304.60 1.92%
1953 \$306.90 0.75%
1954 \$309.20 0.75%
1955 \$308.05 -0.37%
1956 \$312.64 1.49%
1957 \$322.99 3.31%
1958 \$332.18 2.85%
1959 \$334.48 0.69%
1960 \$340.23 1.72%
1961 \$343.68 1.01%
1962 \$347.13 1.00%
1963 \$351.72 1.32%
1964 \$356.32 1.31%
1965 \$362.07 1.61%
1966 \$372.41 2.86%
1967 \$383.91 3.09%
1968 \$400.00 4.19%
1969 \$421.84 5.46%
1970 \$445.98 5.72%
1971 \$465.52 4.38%
1972 \$480.46 3.21%
1973 \$510.34 6.22%
1974 \$566.67 11.04%
1975 \$618.39 9.13%
1976 \$654.02 5.76%
1977 \$696.55 6.50%
1978 \$749.43 7.59%
1979 \$834.48 11.35%
1980 \$947.13 13.50%
1981 \$1,044.83 10.32%
1982 \$1,109.20 6.16%
1983 \$1,144.83 3.21%
1984 \$1,194.25 4.32%
1985 \$1,236.78 3.56%
1986 \$1,259.77 1.86%
1987 \$1,305.75 3.65%
1988 \$1,359.77 4.14%
1989 \$1,425.29 4.82%
1990 \$1,502.30 5.40%
1991 \$1,565.52 4.21%
1992 \$1,612.64 3.01%
1993 \$1,660.92 2.99%
1994 \$1,703.45 2.56%
1995 \$1,751.72 2.83%
1996 \$1,803.45 2.95%
1997 \$1,844.83 2.29%
1998 \$1,873.56 1.56%
1999 \$1,914.94 2.21%
2000 \$1,979.31 3.36%
2001 \$2,035.63 2.85%
2002 \$2,067.82 1.58%
2003 \$2,114.94 2.28%
2004 \$2,171.26 2.66%
2005 \$2,244.83 3.39%
2006 \$2,317.24 3.23%
2007 \$2,383.24 2.85%
2008 \$2,474.75 3.84%
2009 \$2,465.94 -0.36%
2010 \$2,506.39 1.64%
2011 \$2,585.51 3.16%
2012 \$2,639.01 2.07%
2013 \$2,677.67 1.46%
2014 \$2,721.10 1.62%
2015 \$2,724.33 0.12%
2016 \$2,758.70 1.26%
2017 \$2,817.47 2.13%
2018 \$2,887.70 2.49%
2019 \$2,938.59 1.76%
2020 \$2,974.85 1.23%
2021 \$3,122.94 4.98%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
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This conversion table shows various other 1855 amounts in 2020 dollars, based on the 2,874.85% change in prices:

Conversion: 1855 dollars in 2020
Initial value Equivalent value
\$1 dollar in 1855 \$29.75 dollars in 2020
\$5 dollars in 1855 \$148.74 dollars in 2020
\$10 dollars in 1855 \$297.48 dollars in 2020
\$50 dollars in 1855 \$1,487.42 dollars in 2020
\$100 dollars in 1855 \$2,974.85 dollars in 2020
\$500 dollars in 1855 \$14,874.23 dollars in 2020
\$1,000 dollars in 1855 \$29,748.47 dollars in 2020
\$5,000 dollars in 1855 \$148,742.34 dollars in 2020
\$10,000 dollars in 1855 \$297,484.67 dollars in 2020
\$50,000 dollars in 1855 \$1,487,423.37 dollars in 2020
\$100,000 dollars in 1855 \$2,974,846.74 dollars in 2020
\$500,000 dollars in 1855 \$14,874,233.72 dollars in 2020
\$1,000,000 dollars in 1855 \$29,748,467.43 dollars in 2020

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £100.00 in 1855 would be equivalent to £10,970.36 in 2020, an absolute change of £10,870.36 and a cumulative change of 10,870.36%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$2,874.85 and total percent change of 2,874.85%.

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 1855 and 2020.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.08% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$100 in 1855 → 2020
Food and beverages 3.91 55,574.25 55,674.25
Housing 4.19 87,882.92 87,982.92
Apparel 1.95 2,333.80 2,433.80
Transportation 3.17 17,099.49 17,199.49
Medical care 4.73 205,274.19 205,374.19
Recreation 1.11 513.64 613.64
Education and communication 1.85 1,953.20 2,053.20
Other goods and services 4.99 306,931.21 307,031.21

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 1855. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$100, 1855 to 2020

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1855 and 2020:

CPI in 2020 CPI in 1855
×
1855 USD value
=
2020 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 8.7 in the year 1855 and 258.81166666667 in 2020:

258.811666666678.7
×
\$100
=
\$2,974.85

\$100 in 1855 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$2,974.85 in 2020.

To get the total inflation rate for the 165 years between 1855 and 2020, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2020 - CPI in 1855CPI in 1855
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (165 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

258.81166666667 - 8.78.7
×
100
=
2,875%

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

• David Livingstone visits the Victoria Falls, becoming the first European to see it.
• Henry John Temple, Third Viscount Palmerston, forms a British government.
• A train passes a railway suspension bridge at the Niagara Falls, US for the first time.
• Kerosene is patented by Abraham Gesner.

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: “\$100 in 1855 → 2020 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 25 Jul. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1855?amount=100&endYear=2020.

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.