Purchasing Power of British Pounds
from 1245 to Present
The measures used in this calculator are the longest series of their kind: the retail price index and an index of average earnings. See The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to 2010 (New Series).
Other comparison series might be preferable, depending on the context of the question. For more choices but with a shorter time period, consult Five Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a UK Pound Amount, 1830 to Present where you will also find further discussion of this issue.
To determine the value of an amount of money in a particular ("original") year compared to another ("desired") year, enter the values in the appropriate places below. For example, you may want to know: How much money would you need in the year 2000, to have the same "purchasing power" as £1 5s 3d in year 1900. If you entered these values in the correct places, you will find that the answers are £81.20 and £307.00.
Prior to February 15, 1971 ("Decimal day," or "D-day"), monetary amounts in the U.K. were expressed as pounds (£), shillings (s.) and pence (d.), where £1 = 20s. = 240d. After 1970, there were 100 pennies in a pound, so one (new) penny = 2.4 old pence. All numbers should be entered in decimal rather than fractional form (for example, 1.5 rather than 1 1/2).
Lawrence H. Officer and Samuel H. Williamson, "Purchasing Power of British Pounds from 1245 to Present," MeasuringWorth, .
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