# \$100 in 1918 is worth \$2,079.93 today

\$

## The U.S. dollar has lost 95% its value since 1918

Updated: June 12, 2024

\$100 in 1918 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$2,079.93 today, an increase of \$1,979.93 over 106 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 2.90% per year between 1918 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 1,979.93%.

This means that today's prices are 20.80 times as high as average prices since 1918, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index. A dollar today only buys 4.808% of what it could buy back then.

The inflation rate in 1918 was 17.97%. The current inflation rate compared to the end of last year is now 3.27%. If this number holds, \$100 today will be equivalent in buying power to \$103.27 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest inflation rates.

 Cumulative price change 1,979.93% Average inflation rate 2.90% Converted amount\$100 base \$2,079.93 Price difference\$100 base \$1,979.93 CPI in 1918 15.100 CPI in 2024 314.069 Inflation in 1918 17.97% Inflation in 2024 3.27% \$100 in 1918 \$2,079.93 in 2024

USD inflation since 1918
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

## Buying power of \$100 in 1918

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$100 in 1918 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$100, you would need to end with \$2,079.93 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When \$100 is equivalent to \$2,079.93 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 1918 dollars, the chart below shows how \$100 is worth less over 106 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: 1918-2024
YearDollar ValueInflation Rate
1918\$100.0017.97%
1919\$114.5714.57%
1920\$132.4515.61%
1921\$118.54-10.50%
1922\$111.26-6.15%
1923\$113.251.79%
1924\$113.250.00%
1925\$115.892.34%
1926\$117.221.14%
1927\$115.23-1.69%
1928\$113.25-1.72%
1929\$113.250.00%
1930\$110.60-2.34%
1931\$100.66-8.98%
1932\$90.73-9.87%
1933\$86.09-5.11%
1934\$88.743.08%
1935\$90.732.24%
1936\$92.051.46%
1937\$95.363.60%
1938\$93.38-2.08%
1939\$92.05-1.42%
1940\$92.720.72%
1941\$97.355.00%
1942\$107.9510.88%
1943\$114.576.13%
1944\$116.561.73%
1945\$119.212.27%
1946\$129.148.33%
1947\$147.6814.36%
1948\$159.608.07%
1949\$157.62-1.24%
1950\$159.601.26%
1951\$172.197.88%
1952\$175.501.92%
1953\$176.820.75%
1954\$178.150.75%
1955\$177.48-0.37%
1956\$180.131.49%
1957\$186.093.31%
1958\$191.392.85%
1959\$192.720.69%
1960\$196.031.72%
1961\$198.011.01%
1962\$200.001.00%
1963\$202.651.32%
1964\$205.301.31%
1965\$208.611.61%
1966\$214.572.86%
1967\$221.193.09%
1968\$230.464.19%
1969\$243.055.46%
1970\$256.955.72%
1971\$268.214.38%
1972\$276.823.21%
1973\$294.046.22%
1974\$326.4911.04%
1975\$356.299.13%
1976\$376.825.76%
1977\$401.326.50%
1978\$431.797.59%
1979\$480.7911.35%
1980\$545.7013.50%
1981\$601.9910.32%
1982\$639.076.16%
1983\$659.603.21%
1984\$688.084.32%
1985\$712.583.56%
1986\$725.831.86%
1987\$752.323.65%
1988\$783.444.14%
1989\$821.194.82%
1990\$865.565.40%
1991\$901.994.21%
1992\$929.143.01%
1993\$956.952.99%
1994\$981.462.56%
1995\$1,009.272.83%
1996\$1,039.072.95%
1997\$1,062.912.29%
1998\$1,079.471.56%
1999\$1,103.312.21%
2000\$1,140.403.36%
2001\$1,172.852.85%
2002\$1,191.391.58%
2003\$1,218.542.28%
2004\$1,250.992.66%
2005\$1,293.383.39%
2006\$1,335.103.23%
2007\$1,373.132.85%
2008\$1,425.853.84%
2009\$1,420.77-0.36%
2010\$1,444.081.64%
2011\$1,489.663.16%
2012\$1,520.492.07%
2013\$1,542.761.46%
2014\$1,567.791.62%
2015\$1,569.650.12%
2016\$1,589.451.26%
2017\$1,623.312.13%
2018\$1,663.772.49%
2019\$1,693.101.76%
2020\$1,713.981.23%
2021\$1,794.504.70%
2022\$1,938.128.00%
2023\$2,017.904.12%
2024\$2,079.933.07%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 100 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 1918 amounts in today's dollars, based on the 1,979.93% change in prices:

Conversion: 1918 dollars today
Initial valueEquivalent value
\$1 dollar in 1918\$20.80 dollars today
\$5 dollars in 1918\$104.00 dollars today
\$10 dollars in 1918\$207.99 dollars today
\$50 dollars in 1918\$1,039.96 dollars today
\$100 dollars in 1918\$2,079.93 dollars today
\$500 dollars in 1918\$10,399.64 dollars today
\$1,000 dollars in 1918\$20,799.27 dollars today
\$5,000 dollars in 1918\$103,996.36 dollars today
\$10,000 dollars in 1918\$207,992.72 dollars today
\$50,000 dollars in 1918\$1,039,963.58 dollars today
\$100,000 dollars in 1918\$2,079,927.15 dollars today
\$500,000 dollars in 1918\$10,399,635.76 dollars today
\$1,000,000 dollars in 1918\$20,799,271.52 dollars today

## Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1918 to 2024 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of \$100):

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 106 years between 1918 and 2024 (3.24%).

Detroit, Michigan experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 106 years between 1918 and 2024 (2.85%).

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 £100.00 in 1918 would be equivalent to £7,121.29 in 2024, an absolute change of £7,021.29 and a cumulative change of 7,021.29%.

In Canada, CA\$100.00 in 1918 would be equivalent to CA\$1,780.93 in 2024, an absolute change of CA\$1,680.93 and a cumulative change of 1,680.93%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$1,979.93 and total percent change of 1,979.93%.

## 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 1918 and 2024.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.90% per year:

CategoryAvg Inflation (%)Total Inflation (%)\$100 in 1918 → 2024
Food and beverages3.996,234.306,334.30
Housing4.258,170.898,270.89
Apparel1.42346.37446.37
Transportation3.373,250.663,350.66
Medical care4.6011,700.8811,800.88
Recreation1.37321.50421.50
Education and communication1.74521.47621.47
Other goods and services4.9616,846.1116,946.11

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 1918. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

## How to calculate inflation rate for \$100 since 1918

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1918 and today:

CPI today CPI in 1918
×
1918 USD value
=
Today's value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 15.1 in the year 1918 and 314.069 in 2024:

314.06915.1
×
\$100
=
\$2,079.93

\$100 in 1918 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$2,079.93 in 2024.

To get the total inflation rate for the 106 years between 1918 and 2024, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2024 - CPI in 1918CPI in 1918
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (106 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

314.069 - 15.115.1
×
100
=
1,980%

## Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 2.90% has a compounding effect between 1918 and 2024. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 1,979.93% over 106 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested \$100 in the S&P 500 index in 1918, our investment would be nominally worth approximately \$4,412,699.95 in 2024. This is a return on investment of 4,412,599.95%, with an absolute return of \$4,412,599.95 on top of the original \$100.

These numbers are not inflation adjusted, so they are considered nominal. In order to evaluate the real return on our investment, we must calculate the return with inflation taken into account.

The compounding effect of inflation would account for 95.19% of returns (\$4,200,543.48) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our \$100 investment is \$212,056.47. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around \$180,248 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1918-2024
Original AmountFinal AmountChange
Nominal\$100\$4,412,699.954,412,599.95%
Real
\$100\$212,156.47212,056.47%

Information displayed above may differ slightly from other S&P 500 calculators. Minor discrepancies can occur because we use the latest CPI data for inflation, annualized inflation numbers for previous years, and we compute S&P price and dividends from January of 1918 to latest available data for 2024 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 1918 and 2024, see the stock market returns calculator.

## Data source & citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (CPI), established in 1913. Price index data from 1774 to 1912 is sourced from a historical study conducted by political science professor Robert Sahr at Oregon State University and from the American Antiquarian Society. Price index data from 1634 to 1773 is from the American Antiquarian Society, using British pound equivalents.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “Value of 1918 dollars today | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 12 Jun. 2024, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1918.

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.