$1,000,000 in 1915 → $25,541,683.17 in 2020

U.S. Inflation Rate, $1,000,000 from 1915 to 2020

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today's prices in 2020 are 2,454.17% higher than average prices since 1915. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.13% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, $1,000,000 in 1915 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $25,541,683.17 in 2020, a difference of $24,541,683.17 over 105 years.

The 1915 inflation rate was 1.00%. The current inflation rate (2019 to 2020) is now 2.49%1. If this number holds, $1,000,000 today will be equivalent in buying power to $1,024,865.72 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.


Inflation from 1915 to 2020
Cumulative price change 2,454.17%
Average inflation rate 3.13%
Converted amount ($1,000,000 base) $25,541,683.17
Price difference ($1,000,000 base) $24,541,683.17
CPI in 1915 10.100
CPI in 2020 257.971
Inflation in 1915 1.00%
Inflation in 2020 2.49%

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
Download

Buying power of $1,000,000 in 1915

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $1,000,000 in 1915 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $1,000,000, you would need to end with $25,541,683.17 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $1,000,000 is equivalent to $25,541,683.17 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 1915 dollars, the chart below shows how $1,000,000 buys less over the past 105 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
1915 $1,000,000.00 1.00%
1916 $1,079,207.92 7.92%
1917 $1,267,326.73 17.43%
1918 $1,495,049.50 17.97%
1919 $1,712,871.29 14.57%
1920 $1,980,198.02 15.61%
1921 $1,772,277.23 -10.50%
1922 $1,663,366.34 -6.15%
1923 $1,693,069.31 1.79%
1924 $1,693,069.31 0.00%
1925 $1,732,673.27 2.34%
1926 $1,752,475.25 1.14%
1927 $1,722,772.28 -1.69%
1928 $1,693,069.31 -1.72%
1929 $1,693,069.31 0.00%
1930 $1,653,465.35 -2.34%
1931 $1,504,950.50 -8.98%
1932 $1,356,435.64 -9.87%
1933 $1,287,128.71 -5.11%
1934 $1,326,732.67 3.08%
1935 $1,356,435.64 2.24%
1936 $1,376,237.62 1.46%
1937 $1,425,742.57 3.60%
1938 $1,396,039.60 -2.08%
1939 $1,376,237.62 -1.42%
1940 $1,386,138.61 0.72%
1941 $1,455,445.54 5.00%
1942 $1,613,861.39 10.88%
1943 $1,712,871.29 6.13%
1944 $1,742,574.26 1.73%
1945 $1,782,178.22 2.27%
1946 $1,930,693.07 8.33%
1947 $2,207,920.79 14.36%
1948 $2,386,138.61 8.07%
1949 $2,356,435.64 -1.24%
1950 $2,386,138.61 1.26%
1951 $2,574,257.43 7.88%
1952 $2,623,762.38 1.92%
1953 $2,643,564.36 0.75%
1954 $2,663,366.34 0.75%
1955 $2,653,465.35 -0.37%
1956 $2,693,069.31 1.49%
1957 $2,782,178.22 3.31%
1958 $2,861,386.14 2.85%
1959 $2,881,188.12 0.69%
1960 $2,930,693.07 1.72%
1961 $2,960,396.04 1.01%
1962 $2,990,099.01 1.00%
1963 $3,029,702.97 1.32%
1964 $3,069,306.93 1.31%
1965 $3,118,811.88 1.61%
1966 $3,207,920.79 2.86%
1967 $3,306,930.69 3.09%
1968 $3,445,544.55 4.19%
1969 $3,633,663.37 5.46%
1970 $3,841,584.16 5.72%
1971 $4,009,900.99 4.38%
1972 $4,138,613.86 3.21%
1973 $4,396,039.60 6.22%
1974 $4,881,188.12 11.04%
1975 $5,326,732.67 9.13%
1976 $5,633,663.37 5.76%
1977 $6,000,000.00 6.50%
1978 $6,455,445.54 7.59%
1979 $7,188,118.81 11.35%
1980 $8,158,415.84 13.50%
1981 $9,000,000.00 10.32%
1982 $9,554,455.45 6.16%
1983 $9,861,386.14 3.21%
1984 $10,287,128.71 4.32%
1985 $10,653,465.35 3.56%
1986 $10,851,485.15 1.86%
1987 $11,247,524.75 3.65%
1988 $11,712,871.29 4.14%
1989 $12,277,227.72 4.82%
1990 $12,940,594.06 5.40%
1991 $13,485,148.51 4.21%
1992 $13,891,089.11 3.01%
1993 $14,306,930.69 2.99%
1994 $14,673,267.33 2.56%
1995 $15,089,108.91 2.83%
1996 $15,534,653.47 2.95%
1997 $15,891,089.11 2.29%
1998 $16,138,613.86 1.56%
1999 $16,495,049.50 2.21%
2000 $17,049,504.95 3.36%
2001 $17,534,653.47 2.85%
2002 $17,811,881.19 1.58%
2003 $18,217,821.78 2.28%
2004 $18,702,970.30 2.66%
2005 $19,336,633.66 3.39%
2006 $19,960,396.04 3.23%
2007 $20,528,910.89 2.85%
2008 $21,317,128.71 3.84%
2009 $21,241,287.13 -0.36%
2010 $21,589,702.97 1.64%
2011 $22,271,188.12 3.16%
2012 $22,732,079.21 2.07%
2013 $23,065,049.50 1.46%
2014 $23,439,207.92 1.62%
2015 $23,467,029.70 0.12%
2016 $23,763,069.31 1.26%
2017 $24,269,306.93 2.13%
2018 $24,874,257.43 2.49%
2019 $25,312,623.76 1.76%
2020 $25,541,683.17 0.90%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 99 more rows

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1915 to 2020 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $1,000,000):

  • San Francisco, California: 3.39% average rate, $1,000,000 → $32,041,150.36, cumulative change of 3,104.12%
  • Seattle, Washington: 3.33% average rate, $1,000,000 → $30,208,975.52, cumulative change of 2,920.90%
  • New York: 3.24% average rate, $1,000,000 → $28,438,991.60, cumulative change of 2,743.90%
  • Boston, Massachusetts: 3.19% average rate, $1,000,000 → $27,117,052.30, cumulative change of 2,611.71%
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 3.15% average rate, $1,000,000 → $25,117,861.22, cumulative change of 2,411.79%
  • Detroit, Michigan: 3.11% average rate, $1,000,000 → $24,166,250.00, cumulative change of 2,316.63%
  • Houston, Texas: 3.11% average rate, $1,000,000 → $24,079,052.63, cumulative change of 2,307.91%
  • Chicago, Illinois: 3.09% average rate, $1,000,000 → $24,395,440.93, cumulative change of 2,339.54%

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 105 years between 1915 and 2020 (3.39%).

Chicago, Illinois experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 105 years between 1915 and 2020 (3.09%).

Note that some locations showing 0% inflation may have not yet reported latest data.


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1,000,000.00 in 1915 would be equivalent to £103,476,669.16 in 2020, an absolute change of £102,476,669.16 and a cumulative change of 10,247.67%.

In Canada, CA$1,000,000.00 in 1915 would be equivalent to CA$21,650,793.65 in 2020, an absolute change of CA$20,650,793.65 and a cumulative change of 2,065.08%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $24,541,683.17 and total percent change of 2,454.17%.


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 1915 and 2020.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.13% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1,000,000 in 1915 → 2020
Food and beverages 3.86 5,229.15 53,291,523.22
Housing 4.18 7,268.92 73,689,180.21
Apparel 1.98 682.22 7,822,200.65
Transportation 3.21 2,659.35 27,593,512.82
Medical care 5.10 18,462.38 185,623,827.94
Recreation 1.10 216.34 3,163,424.82
Education and communication 1.81 560.62 6,606,187.47
Other goods and services 4.97 16,172.95 162,729,473.11

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 1915. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1,000,000 since 1915

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2020CPI in 1915
×
1915 USD value
=
2020 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 10.1 in the year 1915 and 257.971 in 2020:

257.97110.1
×
$1,000,000
=
$25,541,683.17

$1,000,000 in 1915 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $25,541,683.17 in 2020.

To get the total inflation rate for the 105 years between 1915 and 2020, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2020 - CPI in 1915CPI in 1915
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (105 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

257.971 - 10.110.1
×
100
=
2,454%

News headlines from 1915

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

  • French troops force Germans back into the Champagne region, suffering losses of 50,000 men and gaining several hundred yards.
  • Germany uses poison gas for the first time in World War I.
  • Almost 430,000 French, British, and Germans are killed in the Battle of Loos.
  • The one-millionth Model T is produced by Ford Motor Company.

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: “$1,000,000 in 1915 → 2020 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 23 Feb. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1915?amount=1000000&endYear=2020.

Special thanks to QuickChart for providing downloadable chart images.

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 1915 to 2020
Cumulative price change 2,454.17%
Average inflation rate 3.13%
Converted amount ($1,000,000 base) $25,541,683.17
Price difference ($1,000,000 base) $24,541,683.17
CPI in 1915 10.100
CPI in 2020 257.971
Inflation in 1915 1.00%
Inflation in 2020 2.49%