Purchasing Power of Money in the United States
from 1790 to Present

Initial Year:
Initial Amount: $
Desired Year:

Enter data as a number without a $ sign or commas.

Why not current year?

Computing the Purchasing Power of a monetary transaction in the past compares the relative value of a past amount of dollars to a present amount. A simple "calculator" uses only the prices of consumer purchases to do this whereas a complete purchasing power comparator, such as found in this website, uses various prices, wages, output, etc., depending on the context. For more information on this issue, consult Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a US Dollar Amount, 1790 - Present where you will find a more extensive discussion of how to compute relative worth with many examples.

The answers you get from this comparator will be the same as those from the Relative Value comparator. That is, you will get the "simple" purchasing power calculator result and other choices that may be better depending on the context.

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 $500 in the year 1960? If you entered these values in the correct places, you will find that the "the simple purchasing power" answer is $2,910.00.

You can make this computation among all the years between 1790 and Present.


Samuel H. Williamson, "Purchasing Power of Money in the United States from 1790 to Present," MeasuringWorth, .

URL: www.measuringworth.com/ppowerus/

Please let us know if and how this discussion has assisted you in using our comparators.