$1 in 1880 is worth $0.98 in 1879

Value of $1 from 1880 to 1879

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 1879 are 1.96% lower than average prices since 1880. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.00% per year during this period, causing the real value of a dollar to decrease.

In other words, $1 in 1880 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $0.98 in 1879.

The 1879 inflation rate was 0.00%. 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.


Inflation from 1880 to 1879
Average inflation rate 2.00%
Converted amount ($1 base) $0.98
Price difference ($1 base) $-0.02
CPI in 1880 10.200
CPI in 1879 10.000
Inflation in 1879 0.00%
Inflation in 1880 2.00%

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

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1880 would be equivalent to £0.97 in 1879, an absolute change of £-0.03 and a cumulative change of -3.19%.

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. 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 1880 and 1879.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.00% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1 in 1879 → 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

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, 1879 to 1880

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1879 and 1880:

CPI in 1879 CPI in 1880
×
1880 USD value
=
1879 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 10.2 in the year 1880 and 10 in 1879:

1010.2
×
$1
=
$0.98

$1 in 1880 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $0.98 in 1879.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1879 and 1880, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1879 - CPI in 1880CPI in 1880
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

10 - 10.210.2
×
100
=
-2%

News headlines from 1879

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 → 1879 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 15 Aug. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1880?amount=1&endYear=1879.

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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Inflation from 1880 to 1879
Average inflation rate 2.00%
Converted amount ($1 base) $0.98
Price difference ($1 base) $-0.02
CPI in 1880 10.200
CPI in 1879 10.000
Inflation in 1879 0.00%
Inflation in 1880 2.00%