$7,800 in 1920 → $100,364.94 in 2019

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$7,800 in 1920 → $100,364.94 in 2019

U.S. Inflation Rate, $7,800 in 1920 to 2019

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today's prices in 2019 are 1,186.73% higher than average prices throughout 1920. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.61% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, $7,800 in 1920 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $100,364.94 in 2019, a difference of $92,564.94 over 99 years.

The 1920 inflation rate was 15.61%. The current inflation rate (2018 to 2019) is now 1.76%1. If this number holds, $7,800 today will be equivalent in buying power to $7,937.60 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.


Inflation from 1920 to 2019
Cumulative price change 1,186.73%
Average inflation rate 2.61%
Converted amount ($7,800 base) $100,364.94
Price difference ($7,800 base) $92,564.94
CPI in 1920 20.000
CPI in 2019 257.346
Inflation in 1920 15.61%
Inflation in 2019 1.76%

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
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Buying power of $7,800 in 1920

This chart shows calculation of buying power equivalence, often referred to as "the value of a dollar" over time for $7,800 in 1920 (price index tracking began in 1635).

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
1920 $7,800.00 15.61%
1921 $6,981.00 -10.50%
1922 $6,552.00 -6.15%
1923 $6,669.00 1.79%
1924 $6,669.00 0.00%
1925 $6,825.00 2.34%
1926 $6,903.00 1.14%
1927 $6,786.00 -1.69%
1928 $6,669.00 -1.72%
1929 $6,669.00 0.00%
1930 $6,513.00 -2.34%
1931 $5,928.00 -8.98%
1932 $5,343.00 -9.87%
1933 $5,070.00 -5.11%
1934 $5,226.00 3.08%
1935 $5,343.00 2.24%
1936 $5,421.00 1.46%
1937 $5,616.00 3.60%
1938 $5,499.00 -2.08%
1939 $5,421.00 -1.42%
1940 $5,460.00 0.72%
1941 $5,733.00 5.00%
1942 $6,357.00 10.88%
1943 $6,747.00 6.13%
1944 $6,864.00 1.73%
1945 $7,020.00 2.27%
1946 $7,605.00 8.33%
1947 $8,697.00 14.36%
1948 $9,399.00 8.07%
1949 $9,282.00 -1.24%
1950 $9,399.00 1.26%
1951 $10,140.00 7.88%
1952 $10,335.00 1.92%
1953 $10,413.00 0.75%
1954 $10,491.00 0.75%
1955 $10,452.00 -0.37%
1956 $10,608.00 1.49%
1957 $10,959.00 3.31%
1958 $11,271.00 2.85%
1959 $11,349.00 0.69%
1960 $11,544.00 1.72%
1961 $11,661.00 1.01%
1962 $11,778.00 1.00%
1963 $11,934.00 1.32%
1964 $12,090.00 1.31%
1965 $12,285.00 1.61%
1966 $12,636.00 2.86%
1967 $13,026.00 3.09%
1968 $13,572.00 4.19%
1969 $14,313.00 5.46%
1970 $15,132.00 5.72%
1971 $15,795.00 4.38%
1972 $16,302.00 3.21%
1973 $17,316.00 6.22%
1974 $19,227.00 11.04%
1975 $20,982.00 9.13%
1976 $22,191.00 5.76%
1977 $23,634.00 6.50%
1978 $25,428.00 7.59%
1979 $28,314.00 11.35%
1980 $32,136.00 13.50%
1981 $35,451.00 10.32%
1982 $37,635.00 6.16%
1983 $38,844.00 3.21%
1984 $40,521.00 4.32%
1985 $41,964.00 3.56%
1986 $42,744.00 1.86%
1987 $44,304.00 3.65%
1988 $46,137.00 4.14%
1989 $48,360.00 4.82%
1990 $50,973.00 5.40%
1991 $53,118.00 4.21%
1992 $54,717.00 3.01%
1993 $56,355.00 2.99%
1994 $57,798.00 2.56%
1995 $59,436.00 2.83%
1996 $61,191.00 2.95%
1997 $62,595.00 2.29%
1998 $63,570.00 1.56%
1999 $64,974.00 2.21%
2000 $67,158.00 3.36%
2001 $69,069.00 2.85%
2002 $70,161.00 1.58%
2003 $71,760.00 2.28%
2004 $73,671.00 2.66%
2005 $76,167.00 3.39%
2006 $78,624.00 3.23%
2007 $80,863.38 2.85%
2008 $83,968.17 3.84%
2009 $83,669.43 -0.36%
2010 $85,041.84 1.64%
2011 $87,726.21 3.16%
2012 $89,541.66 2.07%
2013 $90,853.23 1.46%
2014 $92,327.04 1.62%
2015 $92,436.63 0.12%
2016 $93,602.73 1.26%
2017 $95,596.80 2.13%
2018 $97,931.66 2.44%
2019 $100,364.94 2.48%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 93 more rows

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1920 to 2019 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $7,800):

  • San Francisco, California: 2.93% average rate, $7,800 → $135,645.90, cumulative change of 1,639.05%
  • Seattle, Washington: 2.75% average rate, $7,800 → $114,631.98, cumulative change of 1,369.64%
  • New York: 2.69% average rate, $7,800 → $107,740.27, cumulative change of 1,281.29%
  • Boston, Massachusetts: 2.67% average rate, $7,800 → $106,407.18, cumulative change of 1,264.19%
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 2.59% average rate, $7,800 → $98,392.46, cumulative change of 1,161.44%
  • Chicago, Illinois: 2.55% average rate, $7,800 → $94,677.78, cumulative change of 1,113.82%
  • Houston, Texas: 2.54% average rate, $7,800 → $93,200.73, cumulative change of 1,094.88%
  • Atlanta, Georgia: 2.46% average rate, $7,800 → $86,506.70, cumulative change of 1,009.06%
  • Detroit, Michigan: 2.44% average rate, $7,800 → $85,087.37, cumulative change of 990.86%

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 99 years between 1920 and 2019 (2.93%).

Detroit, Michigan experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 99 years between 1920 and 2019 (2.44%).

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 £7,800.00 in 1920 would be equivalent to £345,734.86 in 2019, an absolute change of £337,934.86 and a cumulative change of 4,332.50%.

In Canada, CA$7,800.00 in 1920 would be equivalent to CA$92,903.57 in 2019, an absolute change of CA$85,103.57 and a cumulative change of 1,091.07%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $92,564.94 and total percent change of 1,186.73%.


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 1920 and 2019.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.61% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $7,800 in 1920 → 2019
Food 2.57 1,130.16 95,952.73
Shelter 4.09 5,202.98 413,632.64
Energy 3.78 3,840.46 307,355.69
Apparel 1.09 191.24 22,717.01
New vehicles 1.04 178.93 21,756.45
Used cars and trucks 0.62 84.87 14,419.73
Transportation services 4.03 4,876.77 388,188.18
Medical care services 5.09 13,472.17 1,058,629.39
Medical care commodities 3.00 1,770.74 145,917.80

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 1920. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $7,800 since 1920

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2019CPI in 1920
×
1920 USD value
=
2019 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 20 in the year 1920 and 257.346 in 2019:

257.34620
×
$7,800
=
$100,364.94

$7,800 in 1920 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $100,364.94 in 2019.

To get the total inflation rate for the 99 years between 1920 and 2019, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2019 - CPI in 1920CPI in 1920
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (99 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

257.346 - 2020
×
100
=
1,187%

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 2.61% has a compounding effect between 1920 and 2019. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 1,186.73% over 99 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $7,800 in the S&P 500 index in 1920, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $123,041,164.41 in 2019. This is a return on investment of 1,577,250.83%, with an absolute return of $123,033,364.41 on top of the original $7,800.

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 92.23% of returns ($113,471,656.48) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $7,800 investment is $9,561,707.93. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $8,127,452 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1920-2019
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $7,800 $123,041,164.41 1,577,250.83%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$7,800 $9,561,707.93 122,578.23%


News headlines from 1920

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

  • The League of Nations' first assembly takes place in Paris.
  • The British Parliament passes the Fourth Home Rule Act, dividing Ireland into two parts and leading to a yearlong Anglo-Irish war in the southern counties.
  • The Catholic Church canonizes Joan of Arc, formally making her a saint.
  • The 19th Amendment to the constitution is ratified, granting U.S. woman suffrage for the first time.

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: “$7,800 in 1920 → 2019 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 21 Nov. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1920?amount=7800.

Special thanks to QuickChart for providing downloadable chart images.

in2013dollars.com is a reference website maintained by the Official Data Foundation.


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 1920 to 2019
Cumulative price change 1,186.73%
Average inflation rate 2.61%
Converted amount ($7,800 base) $100,364.94
Price difference ($7,800 base) $92,564.94
CPI in 1920 20.000
CPI in 2019 257.346
Inflation in 1920 15.61%
Inflation in 2019 1.76%
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