\$1 in 1880 → \$0.98 in 1878

Inflation Calculator

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U.S. Inflation Rate, \$1 from 1880 to 1878

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 1878 are 1.96% lower than average prices since 1880. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 1.00% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, \$1 in 1880 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$0.98 in 1878, a difference of \$-0.02 over 2 years.

The 1878 inflation rate was -4.76%. The inflation rate in 1880 was 2.00%. The 1880 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.34% per year between 1880 and 2020.

 Cumulative price change -1.96% Average inflation rate 1.00% Converted amount (\$1 base) \$0.98 Price difference (\$1 base) \$-0.02 CPI in 1880 10.200 CPI in 1878 10.000 Inflation in 1878 -4.76% Inflation in 1880 2.00%

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

Buying power of \$1 in 1878

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$1 in 1878 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$1, you would need to end with \$0.98 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When \$1 is equivalent to \$0.98 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 1878 dollars, the chart below shows how \$1 buys less over the past 2 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:

Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1878 \$1.00 -4.76%
1879 \$1.00 0.00%
1880 \$1.02 2.00%
1881 \$1.02 0.00%
1882 \$1.02 0.00%
1883 \$1.01 -0.98%
1884 \$0.98 -2.97%
1885 \$0.97 -1.02%
1886 \$0.94 -3.09%
1887 \$0.95 1.06%
1888 \$0.95 0.00%
1889 \$0.92 -3.16%
1890 \$0.91 -1.09%
1891 \$0.91 0.00%
1892 \$0.91 0.00%
1893 \$0.90 -1.10%
1894 \$0.86 -4.44%
1895 \$0.84 -2.33%
1896 \$0.84 0.00%
1897 \$0.83 -1.19%
1898 \$0.83 0.00%
1899 \$0.83 0.00%
1900 \$0.84 1.20%
1901 \$0.85 1.19%
1902 \$0.86 1.18%
1903 \$0.88 2.33%
1904 \$0.89 1.14%
1905 \$0.88 -1.12%
1906 \$0.90 2.27%
1907 \$0.94 4.44%
1908 \$0.92 -2.13%
1909 \$0.91 -1.09%
1910 \$0.95 4.40%
1911 \$0.95 0.00%
1912 \$0.97 2.11%
1913 \$0.99 2.06%
1914 \$1.00 1.01%
1915 \$1.01 1.00%
1916 \$1.09 7.92%
1917 \$1.28 17.43%
1918 \$1.51 17.97%
1919 \$1.73 14.57%
1920 \$2.00 15.61%
1921 \$1.79 -10.50%
1922 \$1.68 -6.15%
1923 \$1.71 1.79%
1924 \$1.71 0.00%
1925 \$1.75 2.34%
1926 \$1.77 1.14%
1927 \$1.74 -1.69%
1928 \$1.71 -1.72%
1929 \$1.71 0.00%
1930 \$1.67 -2.34%
1931 \$1.52 -8.98%
1932 \$1.37 -9.87%
1933 \$1.30 -5.11%
1934 \$1.34 3.08%
1935 \$1.37 2.24%
1936 \$1.39 1.46%
1937 \$1.44 3.60%
1938 \$1.41 -2.08%
1939 \$1.39 -1.42%
1940 \$1.40 0.72%
1941 \$1.47 5.00%
1942 \$1.63 10.88%
1943 \$1.73 6.13%
1944 \$1.76 1.73%
1945 \$1.80 2.27%
1946 \$1.95 8.33%
1947 \$2.23 14.36%
1948 \$2.41 8.07%
1949 \$2.38 -1.24%
1950 \$2.41 1.26%
1951 \$2.60 7.88%
1952 \$2.65 1.92%
1953 \$2.67 0.75%
1954 \$2.69 0.75%
1955 \$2.68 -0.37%
1956 \$2.72 1.49%
1957 \$2.81 3.31%
1958 \$2.89 2.85%
1959 \$2.91 0.69%
1960 \$2.96 1.72%
1961 \$2.99 1.01%
1962 \$3.02 1.00%
1963 \$3.06 1.32%
1964 \$3.10 1.31%
1965 \$3.15 1.61%
1966 \$3.24 2.86%
1967 \$3.34 3.09%
1968 \$3.48 4.19%
1969 \$3.67 5.46%
1970 \$3.88 5.72%
1971 \$4.05 4.38%
1972 \$4.18 3.21%
1973 \$4.44 6.22%
1974 \$4.93 11.04%
1975 \$5.38 9.13%
1976 \$5.69 5.76%
1977 \$6.06 6.50%
1978 \$6.52 7.59%
1979 \$7.26 11.35%
1980 \$8.24 13.50%
1981 \$9.09 10.32%
1982 \$9.65 6.16%
1983 \$9.96 3.21%
1984 \$10.39 4.32%
1985 \$10.76 3.56%
1986 \$10.96 1.86%
1987 \$11.36 3.65%
1988 \$11.83 4.14%
1989 \$12.40 4.82%
1990 \$13.07 5.40%
1991 \$13.62 4.21%
1992 \$14.03 3.01%
1993 \$14.45 2.99%
1994 \$14.82 2.56%
1995 \$15.24 2.83%
1996 \$15.69 2.95%
1997 \$16.05 2.29%
1998 \$16.30 1.56%
1999 \$16.66 2.21%
2000 \$17.22 3.36%
2001 \$17.71 2.85%
2002 \$17.99 1.58%
2003 \$18.40 2.28%
2004 \$18.89 2.66%
2005 \$19.53 3.39%
2006 \$20.16 3.23%
2007 \$20.73 2.85%
2008 \$21.53 3.84%
2009 \$21.45 -0.36%
2010 \$21.81 1.64%
2011 \$22.49 3.16%
2012 \$22.96 2.07%
2013 \$23.30 1.46%
2014 \$23.67 1.62%
2015 \$23.70 0.12%
2016 \$24.00 1.26%
2017 \$24.51 2.13%
2018 \$25.12 2.49%
2019 \$25.57 1.76%
2020 \$25.87 1.18%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1880 would be equivalent to £1.01 in 1878, an absolute change of £0.01 and a cumulative change of 1.06%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$-0.02 and total percent change of -1.96%.

Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1880 and 1878.

Compare these values to the overall average of 1.00% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$1 in 1878 → 1880
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 1880. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$1, 1878 to 1880

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1878CPI in 1880
×
1880 USD value
=
1878 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 10.2 in the year 1880 and 10 in 1878:

1010.2
×
\$1
=
\$0.98

\$1 in 1880 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$0.98 in 1878.

To get the total inflation rate for the 2 years between 1878 and 1880, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1878 - CPI in 1880CPI in 1880
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (2 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

10 - 10.210.2
×
100
=
-2%

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

• Construction begins on the Panama Canal.
• The United States constructs its first dedicated sewage system in Memphis, Tennessee.
• The Salvation Army is formed in London.

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 1880 → 1878 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 10 Apr. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1880?amount=1&endYear=1878.