# \$15,000 in 1865 is worth \$249,359.05 in 2021

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## Value of \$15,000 from 1865 to 2021

\$15,000 in 1865 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$249,359.05 in 2021, an increase of \$234,359.05 over 156 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 1.82% per year between 1865 and 2021, producing a cumulative price increase of 1,562.39%.

This means that prices in 2021 are 16.62 times higher than average prices since 1865, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The inflation rate in 1865 was 3.82%. The inflation rate in 2021 was 4.70%. The 2021 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 2.89% per year between 2021 and 2022.

 Cumulative price change 1,562.39% Average inflation rate 1.82% Converted amount (\$15,000 base) \$249,359.05 Price difference (\$15,000 base) \$234,359.05 CPI in 1865 16.300 CPI in 2021 270.970 Inflation in 1865 3.82% Inflation in 2021 4.70% \$15,000 in 1865 \$249,359.05 in 2021

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

## Buying power of \$15,000 in 1865

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$15,000 in 1865 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$15,000, you would need to end with \$249,359.05 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When \$15,000 is equivalent to \$249,359.05 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 1865 dollars, the chart below shows how \$15,000 is worth less over 156 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: 1865-2021
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1865 \$15,000.00 3.82%
1866 \$14,631.90 -2.45%
1867 \$13,619.63 -6.92%
1868 \$13,067.48 -4.05%
1869 \$12,515.34 -4.23%
1870 \$12,055.21 -3.68%
1871 \$11,226.99 -6.87%
1872 \$11,226.99 0.00%
1873 \$11,042.94 -1.64%
1874 \$10,490.80 -5.00%
1875 \$10,122.70 -3.51%
1876 \$9,846.63 -2.73%
1877 \$9,662.58 -1.87%
1878 \$9,202.45 -4.76%
1879 \$9,202.45 0.00%
1880 \$9,386.50 2.00%
1881 \$9,386.50 0.00%
1882 \$9,386.50 0.00%
1883 \$9,294.48 -0.98%
1884 \$9,018.40 -2.97%
1885 \$8,926.38 -1.02%
1886 \$8,650.31 -3.09%
1887 \$8,742.33 1.06%
1888 \$8,742.33 0.00%
1889 \$8,466.26 -3.16%
1890 \$8,374.23 -1.09%
1891 \$8,374.23 0.00%
1892 \$8,374.23 0.00%
1893 \$8,282.21 -1.10%
1894 \$7,914.11 -4.44%
1895 \$7,730.06 -2.33%
1896 \$7,730.06 0.00%
1897 \$7,638.04 -1.19%
1898 \$7,638.04 0.00%
1899 \$7,638.04 0.00%
1900 \$7,730.06 1.20%
1901 \$7,822.09 1.19%
1902 \$7,914.11 1.18%
1903 \$8,098.16 2.33%
1904 \$8,190.18 1.14%
1905 \$8,098.16 -1.12%
1906 \$8,282.21 2.27%
1907 \$8,650.31 4.44%
1908 \$8,466.26 -2.13%
1909 \$8,374.23 -1.09%
1910 \$8,742.33 4.40%
1911 \$8,742.33 0.00%
1912 \$8,926.38 2.11%
1913 \$9,110.43 2.06%
1914 \$9,202.45 1.01%
1915 \$9,294.48 1.00%
1916 \$10,030.67 7.92%
1917 \$11,779.14 17.43%
1918 \$13,895.71 17.97%
1919 \$15,920.25 14.57%
1920 \$18,404.91 15.61%
1921 \$16,472.39 -10.50%
1922 \$15,460.12 -6.15%
1923 \$15,736.20 1.79%
1924 \$15,736.20 0.00%
1925 \$16,104.29 2.34%
1926 \$16,288.34 1.14%
1927 \$16,012.27 -1.69%
1928 \$15,736.20 -1.72%
1929 \$15,736.20 0.00%
1930 \$15,368.10 -2.34%
1931 \$13,987.73 -8.98%
1932 \$12,607.36 -9.87%
1933 \$11,963.19 -5.11%
1934 \$12,331.29 3.08%
1935 \$12,607.36 2.24%
1936 \$12,791.41 1.46%
1937 \$13,251.53 3.60%
1938 \$12,975.46 -2.08%
1939 \$12,791.41 -1.42%
1940 \$12,883.44 0.72%
1941 \$13,527.61 5.00%
1942 \$15,000.00 10.88%
1943 \$15,920.25 6.13%
1944 \$16,196.32 1.73%
1945 \$16,564.42 2.27%
1946 \$17,944.79 8.33%
1947 \$20,521.47 14.36%
1948 \$22,177.91 8.07%
1949 \$21,901.84 -1.24%
1950 \$22,177.91 1.26%
1951 \$23,926.38 7.88%
1952 \$24,386.50 1.92%
1953 \$24,570.55 0.75%
1954 \$24,754.60 0.75%
1955 \$24,662.58 -0.37%
1956 \$25,030.67 1.49%
1957 \$25,858.90 3.31%
1958 \$26,595.09 2.85%
1959 \$26,779.14 0.69%
1960 \$27,239.26 1.72%
1961 \$27,515.34 1.01%
1962 \$27,791.41 1.00%
1963 \$28,159.51 1.32%
1964 \$28,527.61 1.31%
1965 \$28,987.73 1.61%
1966 \$29,815.95 2.86%
1967 \$30,736.20 3.09%
1968 \$32,024.54 4.19%
1969 \$33,773.01 5.46%
1970 \$35,705.52 5.72%
1971 \$37,269.94 4.38%
1972 \$38,466.26 3.21%
1973 \$40,858.90 6.22%
1974 \$45,368.10 11.04%
1975 \$49,509.20 9.13%
1976 \$52,361.96 5.76%
1977 \$55,766.87 6.50%
1978 \$60,000.00 7.59%
1979 \$66,809.82 11.35%
1980 \$75,828.22 13.50%
1981 \$83,650.31 10.32%
1982 \$88,803.68 6.16%
1983 \$91,656.44 3.21%
1984 \$95,613.50 4.32%
1985 \$99,018.40 3.56%
1986 \$100,858.90 1.86%
1987 \$104,539.88 3.65%
1988 \$108,865.03 4.14%
1989 \$114,110.43 4.82%
1990 \$120,276.07 5.40%
1991 \$125,337.42 4.21%
1992 \$129,110.43 3.01%
1993 \$132,975.46 2.99%
1994 \$136,380.37 2.56%
1995 \$140,245.40 2.83%
1996 \$144,386.50 2.95%
1997 \$147,699.39 2.29%
1998 \$150,000.00 1.56%
1999 \$153,312.88 2.21%
2000 \$158,466.26 3.36%
2001 \$162,975.46 2.85%
2002 \$165,552.15 1.58%
2003 \$169,325.15 2.28%
2004 \$173,834.36 2.66%
2005 \$179,723.93 3.39%
2006 \$185,521.47 3.23%
2007 \$190,805.52 2.85%
2008 \$198,131.60 3.84%
2009 \$197,426.69 -0.36%
2010 \$200,665.03 1.64%
2011 \$206,999.08 3.16%
2012 \$211,282.82 2.07%
2013 \$214,377.61 1.46%
2014 \$217,855.21 1.62%
2015 \$218,113.80 0.12%
2016 \$220,865.34 1.26%
2017 \$225,570.55 2.13%
2018 \$231,193.25 2.49%
2019 \$235,267.64 1.76%
2020 \$238,170.25 1.23%
2021 \$249,359.05 4.70%
2022 \$256,566.26 2.89%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 150 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1865 amounts in 2021 dollars, based on the 1,562.39% change in prices:

Conversion: 1865 dollars in 2021
Initial value Equivalent value
\$1 dollar in 1865 \$16.62 dollars in 2021
\$5 dollars in 1865 \$83.12 dollars in 2021
\$10 dollars in 1865 \$166.24 dollars in 2021
\$50 dollars in 1865 \$831.20 dollars in 2021
\$100 dollars in 1865 \$1,662.39 dollars in 2021
\$500 dollars in 1865 \$8,311.97 dollars in 2021
\$1,000 dollars in 1865 \$16,623.94 dollars in 2021
\$5,000 dollars in 1865 \$83,119.68 dollars in 2021
\$10,000 dollars in 1865 \$166,239.37 dollars in 2021
\$50,000 dollars in 1865 \$831,196.83 dollars in 2021
\$100,000 dollars in 1865 \$1,662,393.66 dollars in 2021
\$500,000 dollars in 1865 \$8,311,968.30 dollars in 2021
\$1,000,000 dollars in 1865 \$16,623,936.61 dollars in 2021

## Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £15,000.00 in 1865 would be equivalent to £1,963,619.51 in 2021, an absolute change of £1,948,619.51 and a cumulative change of 12,990.80%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$234,359.05 and total percent change of 1,562.39%.

## 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 2021.

Compare these values to the overall average of 1.82% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$15,000 in 1865 → 2021
Food and beverages 3.90 39,248.15 5,902,222.50
Housing 4.18 59,179.63 8,891,944.02
Apparel 1.96 1,959.81 308,971.73
Transportation 3.29 15,607.75 2,356,163.24
Medical care 4.69 127,280.60 19,107,089.46
Recreation 1.15 496.75 89,512.67
Education and communication 1.84 1,622.22 258,333.18
Other goods and services 4.95 188,032.41 28,219,861.46

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 \$15,000, 1865 to 2021

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1865 and 2021:

CPI in 2021 CPI in 1865
×
1865 USD value
=
2021 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 16.3 in the year 1865 and 270.97016666667 in 2021:

270.9701666666716.3
×
\$15,000
=
\$249,359.05

\$15,000 in 1865 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$249,359.05 in 2021.

To get the total inflation rate for the 156 years between 1865 and 2021, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2021 - CPI in 1865CPI in 1865
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (156 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

270.97016666667 - 16.316.3
×
100
=
1,562%

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: “\$15,000 in 1865 → 2021 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 19 Jan. 2022, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1865?amount=15000&endYear=2021.

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.