$1 in 1865 is worth $0.56 in 1889

Value of $1 from 1865 to 1889

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 1889 are 43.56% lower than average prices since 1865. The U.S. dollar experienced an average deflation rate of -2.36% per year during this period, causing the real value of a dollar to increase.

In other words, $1 in 1865 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $0.56 in 1889, a difference of $-0.44 over 24 years.

The 1865 inflation rate was 3.82%. The inflation rate in 1889 was -3.16%. The 1889 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.58% per year between 1889 and 2020.


Inflation from 1865 to 1889
Cumulative price change -43.56%
Average inflation rate -2.36%
Converted amount ($1 base) $0.56
Price difference ($1 base) $-0.44
CPI in 1865 16.300
CPI in 1889 9.200
Inflation in 1865 3.82%
Inflation in 1889 -3.16%

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

Buying power of $1 in 1865

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $1 in 1865 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $1, you would need to end with $0.56 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: 1865-1889
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1865 $1.00 3.82%
1866 $0.98 -2.45%
1867 $0.91 -6.92%
1868 $0.87 -4.05%
1869 $0.83 -4.23%
1870 $0.80 -3.68%
1871 $0.75 -6.87%
1872 $0.75 0.00%
1873 $0.74 -1.64%
1874 $0.70 -5.00%
1875 $0.67 -3.51%
1876 $0.66 -2.73%
1877 $0.64 -1.87%
1878 $0.61 -4.76%
1879 $0.61 0.00%
1880 $0.63 2.00%
1881 $0.63 0.00%
1882 $0.63 0.00%
1883 $0.62 -0.98%
1884 $0.60 -2.97%
1885 $0.60 -1.02%
1886 $0.58 -3.09%
1887 $0.58 1.06%
1888 $0.58 0.00%
1889 $0.56 -3.16%
1890 $0.56 -1.09%
1891 $0.56 0.00%
1892 $0.56 0.00%
1893 $0.55 -1.10%
1894 $0.53 -4.44%
1895 $0.52 -2.33%
1896 $0.52 0.00%
1897 $0.51 -1.19%
1898 $0.51 0.00%
1899 $0.51 0.00%
1900 $0.52 1.20%
1901 $0.52 1.19%
1902 $0.53 1.18%
1903 $0.54 2.33%
1904 $0.55 1.14%
1905 $0.54 -1.12%
1906 $0.55 2.27%
1907 $0.58 4.44%
1908 $0.56 -2.13%
1909 $0.56 -1.09%
1910 $0.58 4.40%
1911 $0.58 0.00%
1912 $0.60 2.11%
1913 $0.61 2.06%
1914 $0.61 1.01%
1915 $0.62 1.00%
1916 $0.67 7.92%
1917 $0.79 17.43%
1918 $0.93 17.97%
1919 $1.06 14.57%
1920 $1.23 15.61%
1921 $1.10 -10.50%
1922 $1.03 -6.15%
1923 $1.05 1.79%
1924 $1.05 0.00%
1925 $1.07 2.34%
1926 $1.09 1.14%
1927 $1.07 -1.69%
1928 $1.05 -1.72%
1929 $1.05 0.00%
1930 $1.02 -2.34%
1931 $0.93 -8.98%
1932 $0.84 -9.87%
1933 $0.80 -5.11%
1934 $0.82 3.08%
1935 $0.84 2.24%
1936 $0.85 1.46%
1937 $0.88 3.60%
1938 $0.87 -2.08%
1939 $0.85 -1.42%
1940 $0.86 0.72%
1941 $0.90 5.00%
1942 $1.00 10.88%
1943 $1.06 6.13%
1944 $1.08 1.73%
1945 $1.10 2.27%
1946 $1.20 8.33%
1947 $1.37 14.36%
1948 $1.48 8.07%
1949 $1.46 -1.24%
1950 $1.48 1.26%
1951 $1.60 7.88%
1952 $1.63 1.92%
1953 $1.64 0.75%
1954 $1.65 0.75%
1955 $1.64 -0.37%
1956 $1.67 1.49%
1957 $1.72 3.31%
1958 $1.77 2.85%
1959 $1.79 0.69%
1960 $1.82 1.72%
1961 $1.83 1.01%
1962 $1.85 1.00%
1963 $1.88 1.32%
1964 $1.90 1.31%
1965 $1.93 1.61%
1966 $1.99 2.86%
1967 $2.05 3.09%
1968 $2.13 4.19%
1969 $2.25 5.46%
1970 $2.38 5.72%
1971 $2.48 4.38%
1972 $2.56 3.21%
1973 $2.72 6.22%
1974 $3.02 11.04%
1975 $3.30 9.13%
1976 $3.49 5.76%
1977 $3.72 6.50%
1978 $4.00 7.59%
1979 $4.45 11.35%
1980 $5.06 13.50%
1981 $5.58 10.32%
1982 $5.92 6.16%
1983 $6.11 3.21%
1984 $6.37 4.32%
1985 $6.60 3.56%
1986 $6.72 1.86%
1987 $6.97 3.65%
1988 $7.26 4.14%
1989 $7.61 4.82%
1990 $8.02 5.40%
1991 $8.36 4.21%
1992 $8.61 3.01%
1993 $8.87 2.99%
1994 $9.09 2.56%
1995 $9.35 2.83%
1996 $9.63 2.95%
1997 $9.85 2.29%
1998 $10.00 1.56%
1999 $10.22 2.21%
2000 $10.56 3.36%
2001 $10.87 2.85%
2002 $11.04 1.58%
2003 $11.29 2.28%
2004 $11.59 2.66%
2005 $11.98 3.39%
2006 $12.37 3.23%
2007 $12.72 2.85%
2008 $13.21 3.84%
2009 $13.16 -0.36%
2010 $13.38 1.64%
2011 $13.80 3.16%
2012 $14.09 2.07%
2013 $14.29 1.46%
2014 $14.52 1.62%
2015 $14.54 0.12%
2016 $14.72 1.26%
2017 $15.04 2.13%
2018 $15.41 2.49%
2019 $15.68 1.76%
2020 $15.97 1.81%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 18 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1865 amounts in 1889 dollars, based on the -43.56% change in prices:

Conversion Table: Value of a dollar in 1889
Initial value Equivalent value
$1 dollar in 1865 $0.56 dollars in 1889
$5 dollars in 1865 $2.82 dollars in 1889
$10 dollars in 1865 $5.64 dollars in 1889
$50 dollars in 1865 $28.22 dollars in 1889
$100 dollars in 1865 $56.44 dollars in 1889
$500 dollars in 1865 $282.21 dollars in 1889
$1,000 dollars in 1865 $564.42 dollars in 1889
$5,000 dollars in 1865 $2,822.09 dollars in 1889
$10,000 dollars in 1865 $5,644.17 dollars in 1889
$50,000 dollars in 1865 $28,220.86 dollars in 1889
$100,000 dollars in 1865 $56,441.72 dollars in 1889
$500,000 dollars in 1865 $282,208.59 dollars in 1889
$1,000,000 dollars in 1865 $564,417.18 dollars in 1889

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1865 would be equivalent to £0.98 in 1889, an absolute change of £-0.02 and a cumulative change of -2.22%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $-0.44 and total percent change of -43.56%.


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 1865 and 1889.

Compare these values to the overall average of -2.36% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1 in 1865 → 1889
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 1865. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1, 1865 to 1889

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1865 and 1889:

CPI in 1889 CPI in 1865
×
1865 USD value
=
1889 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 16.3 in the year 1865 and 9.2 in 1889:

9.216.3
×
$1
=
$0.56

$1 in 1865 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $0.56 in 1889.

To get the total inflation rate for the 24 years between 1865 and 1889, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1889 - CPI in 1865CPI in 1865
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (24 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

9.2 - 16.316.3
×
100
=
-44%

News headlines from 1865

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

  • America abolishes slavery after Congress passes the 13th Amendment.
  • John Wilkes Booth assassinates President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theater, in Washington.
  • The New York Stock Exchange opens its first permanent headquarters at 10-12 Broad Street.
  • Columbia, South Carolina burns during the American 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: “$1 in 1865 → 1889 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 30 Oct. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1865?amount=1&endYear=1889.

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 1865 to 1889
Cumulative price change -43.56%
Average inflation rate -2.36%
Converted amount ($1 base) $0.56
Price difference ($1 base) $-0.44
CPI in 1865 16.300
CPI in 1889 9.200
Inflation in 1865 3.82%
Inflation in 1889 -3.16%