$100 in 1863 is worth $2,102.20 today

Why a dollar today is worth only 5% of a dollar in 1863

Updated: April 13, 2021

$100 in 1863 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $2,102.20 today, an increase of $2,002.20 over 158 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 1.95% per year between 1863 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 2,002.20%.

This means that today's prices are 21.02 times higher than average prices since 1863, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index. A dollar today only buys 4.76% of what it could buy back then.

The 1863 inflation rate was 24.75%. The current year-over-year inflation rate (2020 to 2021) is now 2.62%1. If this number holds, $100 today will be equivalent in buying power to $102.62 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest inflation rates.


Inflation from 1863 to 2021
Cumulative price change 2,002.20%
Average inflation rate 1.95%
Converted amount ($100 base) $2,102.20
Price difference ($100 base) $2,002.20
CPI in 1863 12.600
CPI in 2021 264.877
Inflation in 1863 24.75%
Inflation in 2021 2.62%
$100 in 1863 $2,102.20 in 2021

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

Buying power of $100 in 1863

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $100 in 1863 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $100, you would need to end with $2,102.20 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $100 is equivalent to $2,102.20 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 1863 dollars, the chart below shows how $100 is worth less over 158 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: 1863-2021
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1863 $100.00 24.75%
1864 $124.60 24.60%
1865 $129.37 3.82%
1866 $126.19 -2.45%
1867 $117.46 -6.92%
1868 $112.70 -4.05%
1869 $107.94 -4.23%
1870 $103.97 -3.68%
1871 $96.83 -6.87%
1872 $96.83 0.00%
1873 $95.24 -1.64%
1874 $90.48 -5.00%
1875 $87.30 -3.51%
1876 $84.92 -2.73%
1877 $83.33 -1.87%
1878 $79.37 -4.76%
1879 $79.37 0.00%
1880 $80.95 2.00%
1881 $80.95 0.00%
1882 $80.95 0.00%
1883 $80.16 -0.98%
1884 $77.78 -2.97%
1885 $76.98 -1.02%
1886 $74.60 -3.09%
1887 $75.40 1.06%
1888 $75.40 0.00%
1889 $73.02 -3.16%
1890 $72.22 -1.09%
1891 $72.22 0.00%
1892 $72.22 0.00%
1893 $71.43 -1.10%
1894 $68.25 -4.44%
1895 $66.67 -2.33%
1896 $66.67 0.00%
1897 $65.87 -1.19%
1898 $65.87 0.00%
1899 $65.87 0.00%
1900 $66.67 1.20%
1901 $67.46 1.19%
1902 $68.25 1.18%
1903 $69.84 2.33%
1904 $70.63 1.14%
1905 $69.84 -1.12%
1906 $71.43 2.27%
1907 $74.60 4.44%
1908 $73.02 -2.13%
1909 $72.22 -1.09%
1910 $75.40 4.40%
1911 $75.40 0.00%
1912 $76.98 2.11%
1913 $78.57 2.06%
1914 $79.37 1.01%
1915 $80.16 1.00%
1916 $86.51 7.92%
1917 $101.59 17.43%
1918 $119.84 17.97%
1919 $137.30 14.57%
1920 $158.73 15.61%
1921 $142.06 -10.50%
1922 $133.33 -6.15%
1923 $135.71 1.79%
1924 $135.71 0.00%
1925 $138.89 2.34%
1926 $140.48 1.14%
1927 $138.10 -1.69%
1928 $135.71 -1.72%
1929 $135.71 0.00%
1930 $132.54 -2.34%
1931 $120.63 -8.98%
1932 $108.73 -9.87%
1933 $103.17 -5.11%
1934 $106.35 3.08%
1935 $108.73 2.24%
1936 $110.32 1.46%
1937 $114.29 3.60%
1938 $111.90 -2.08%
1939 $110.32 -1.42%
1940 $111.11 0.72%
1941 $116.67 5.00%
1942 $129.37 10.88%
1943 $137.30 6.13%
1944 $139.68 1.73%
1945 $142.86 2.27%
1946 $154.76 8.33%
1947 $176.98 14.36%
1948 $191.27 8.07%
1949 $188.89 -1.24%
1950 $191.27 1.26%
1951 $206.35 7.88%
1952 $210.32 1.92%
1953 $211.90 0.75%
1954 $213.49 0.75%
1955 $212.70 -0.37%
1956 $215.87 1.49%
1957 $223.02 3.31%
1958 $229.37 2.85%
1959 $230.95 0.69%
1960 $234.92 1.72%
1961 $237.30 1.01%
1962 $239.68 1.00%
1963 $242.86 1.32%
1964 $246.03 1.31%
1965 $250.00 1.61%
1966 $257.14 2.86%
1967 $265.08 3.09%
1968 $276.19 4.19%
1969 $291.27 5.46%
1970 $307.94 5.72%
1971 $321.43 4.38%
1972 $331.75 3.21%
1973 $352.38 6.22%
1974 $391.27 11.04%
1975 $426.98 9.13%
1976 $451.59 5.76%
1977 $480.95 6.50%
1978 $517.46 7.59%
1979 $576.19 11.35%
1980 $653.97 13.50%
1981 $721.43 10.32%
1982 $765.87 6.16%
1983 $790.48 3.21%
1984 $824.60 4.32%
1985 $853.97 3.56%
1986 $869.84 1.86%
1987 $901.59 3.65%
1988 $938.89 4.14%
1989 $984.13 4.82%
1990 $1,037.30 5.40%
1991 $1,080.95 4.21%
1992 $1,113.49 3.01%
1993 $1,146.83 2.99%
1994 $1,176.19 2.56%
1995 $1,209.52 2.83%
1996 $1,245.24 2.95%
1997 $1,273.81 2.29%
1998 $1,293.65 1.56%
1999 $1,322.22 2.21%
2000 $1,366.67 3.36%
2001 $1,405.56 2.85%
2002 $1,427.78 1.58%
2003 $1,460.32 2.28%
2004 $1,499.21 2.66%
2005 $1,550.00 3.39%
2006 $1,600.00 3.23%
2007 $1,645.57 2.85%
2008 $1,708.75 3.84%
2009 $1,702.67 -0.36%
2010 $1,730.60 1.64%
2011 $1,785.23 3.16%
2012 $1,822.17 2.07%
2013 $1,848.87 1.46%
2014 $1,878.86 1.62%
2015 $1,881.09 0.12%
2016 $1,904.82 1.26%
2017 $1,945.40 2.13%
2018 $1,993.89 2.49%
2019 $2,029.03 1.76%
2020 $2,054.06 1.23%
2021 $2,102.20 2.34%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 152 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1863 amounts in today's dollars, based on the 2,002.20% change in prices:

Conversion: 1863 dollars today
Initial value Equivalent value
$1 dollar in 1863 $21.02 dollars today
$5 dollars in 1863 $105.11 dollars today
$10 dollars in 1863 $210.22 dollars today
$50 dollars in 1863 $1,051.10 dollars today
$100 dollars in 1863 $2,102.20 dollars today
$500 dollars in 1863 $10,510.99 dollars today
$1,000 dollars in 1863 $21,021.98 dollars today
$5,000 dollars in 1863 $105,109.92 dollars today
$10,000 dollars in 1863 $210,219.84 dollars today
$50,000 dollars in 1863 $1,051,099.21 dollars today
$100,000 dollars in 1863 $2,102,198.41 dollars today
$500,000 dollars in 1863 $10,510,992.06 dollars today
$1,000,000 dollars in 1863 $21,021,984.13 dollars today

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 1863 and 2021.

Compare these values to the overall average of 1.95% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $100 in 1863 → 2021
Food and beverages 3.86 39,639.77 39,739.77
Housing 4.14 60,586.62 60,686.62
Apparel 1.95 2,002.98 2,102.98
Transportation 3.18 14,024.49 14,124.49
Medical care 4.69 138,735.64 138,835.64
Recreation 1.08 446.60 546.60
Education and communication 1.81 1,607.65 1,707.65
Other goods and services 4.92 198,762.68 198,862.68

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 1863. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $100 since 1863

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1863 and today:

CPI today CPI in 1863
×
1863 USD value
=
Today's value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 12.6 in the year 1863 and 264.877 in 2021:

264.87712.6
×
$100
=
$2,102.20

$100 in 1863 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $2,102.20 in 2021.

To get the total inflation rate for the 158 years between 1863 and 2021, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2021 - CPI in 1863CPI in 1863
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (158 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

264.877 - 12.612.6
×
100
=
2,002%

News headlines from 1863

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

  • Slavery ends in the Unites States, after President Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation, setting all slaves free.
  • Bahá'u'lláh, founder of the Bahá'í Faith, enters gardens of Rivden and makes the declaration of aha'u'llah during the short time he spent there
  • The Union wins a major victory in the Battle of Gettysburg, the largest of the Civil War.

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: “Value of 1863 dollars today | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 13 Apr. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1863.

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.

Email · LinkedIn · Twitter


» Read more about inflation and investment.

Inflation from 1863 to 2021
Cumulative price change 2,002.20%
Average inflation rate 1.95%
Converted amount ($100 base) $2,102.20
Price difference ($100 base) $2,002.20
CPI in 1863 12.600
CPI in 2021 264.877
Inflation in 1863 24.75%
Inflation in 2021 2.62%
$100 in 1863 $2,102.20 in 2021