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Value of 1938 US Dollars today

$100 in 1938
$2,232.75 in 2024

The inflation rate in the United States between 1938 and today has been 2,132.75%, which translates into a total increase of $2,132.75. This means that 100 dollars in 1938 are equivalent to 2,232.75 dollars in 2024. In other words, the purchasing power of $100 in 1938 equals $2,232.75 today. The average annual inflation rate between these periods has been 3.68%.

Inflation timeline in the United States (1938 - 2024)

The following chart depicts the equivalence of $100 due to compound inflation and CPI changes. All values are equivalent in terms of purchasing power, which means that for each year the same goods or services could be bought with the indicated amount of money.

All calculations are performed in the local currency (USD) and using 6 decimal digits. Results show only up to 2 decimal digits to favour readability. Inflation data is provided by governments and international institutions on a monthly basis. Today's values were extrapolated from the latest 12-month rolling average official data.

The following table contains relevant indicators:

Indicator Value
Cumulative inflation 1938-2023 2,062.28%
Cumulative inflation 1938-today 2,132.75%
Avg. Annual inflation 1938-2023 3.68%
CPI 1938 14.09
CPI 2023 304.7
CPI 2024-05 (latest official data) 314.07
CPI today 314.63

How to calculate today's value of money after inflation?

There are several ways to calculate the time value of money. Depending on the data available, results can be obtained by using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) formula or the compound interest formula.

Using the CPI formula

When we have both the start and end years, we can use the following formula:

Valuet =Value0 ×
CPIt/CPI0

To obtain the values equivalent in buying power between 1938 and 2023, use the corresponding CPI values:

Value2023
=Value1938 ×
CPI2023/CPI1938
=$ 100 ×
304.7/14.09
$2,162.28

To obtain the equivalent value today (present value), plug in the CPI for today, which is estimated as 314.63:

Valuetoday
=Value1938 ×
CPItoday/CPI1938
=$ 100 ×
314.63/14.09
$2,232.75

Alternative: Using the compound interest formula

Given that money changes with time as a result of an inflation rate that acts as compound interest, we can use the following formula: FV = PV × (1 + i)n, where:

  • FV: Future Value
  • PV: Present Value
  • i: Interest rate (inflation)
  • n: Number of times the interest is compounded (i.e. # of years)

In this case, the future value represents the final amount obtained after applying the inflation rate to our initial value. In other words, it indicates how much are $100 worth today. There are 85 years between 1938 and 2023 and the average inflation rate was 3.6824%. Therefore, we can resolve the formula like this:

Value2023
=PV × (1 + i)n
=$100 × (1 + 0.036824)85
$2,162.28

US inflation - Conversion table

Initial Value Equivalent value
$1 dollar in 1938 $21.62 dollars in 2023
$5 dollars in 1938 $108.11 dollars in 2023
$10 dollars in 1938 $216.23 dollars in 2023
$50 dollars in 1938 $1,081.14 dollars in 2023
$100 dollars in 1938 $2,162.28 dollars in 2023
$500 dollars in 1938 $10,811.41 dollars in 2023
$1,000 dollars in 1938 $21,622.82 dollars in 2023
$5,000 dollars in 1938 $108,114.1 dollars in 2023
$10,000 dollars in 1938 $216,228.21 dollars in 2023
$50,000 dollars in 1938 $1,081,141.04 dollars in 2023
$100,000 dollars in 1938 $2,162,282.08 dollars in 2023
$500,000 dollars in 1938 $10,811,410.41 dollars in 2023
$1,000,000 dollars in 1938 $21,622,820.82 dollars in 2023
Cumulative inflation From 1938 2,132.75%
Avg. annual inflation From 1938 3.68%
CPI 1938 14.09
CPI today 314.63

Value of Dollar over time (by year)

Period Value
1938 100
1939 98.7
1940 99.41
1941 104.49
1942 115.91
1943 122.83
1944 124.84
1945 127.68
1946 138.5
1947 158.43
1948 170.61
1949 168.95
1950 170.79
1951 184.21
1952 188.41
1953 189.95
1954 190.54
1955 190.01
1956 192.9
1957 199.35
1958 204.79
1959 206.86
1960 209.88
1961 212.12
1962 214.67
1963 217.33
1964 220.11
1965 223.6
1966 230.34
1967 236.72
1968 246.84
1969 260.32
1970 275.52
1971 287.34
1972 296.75
1973 315.08
1974 349.91
1975 381.9
1976 403.84
1977 430.1
1978 462.92
1979 515.02
1980 584.8
1981 645.24
1982 684.8
1983 706.8
1984 737.2
1985 763.34
1986 777.82
1987 806.33
1988 839.21
1989 879.72
1990 927.2
1991 966.47
1992 995.74
1993 1,025.13
1994 1,051.86
1995 1,081.37
1996 1,113.07
1997 1,139.09
1998 1,156.77
1999 1,182.08
2000 1,222
2001 1,256.53
2002 1,276.46
2003 1,305.44
2004 1,340.39
2005 1,385.87
2006 1,430.57
2007 1,471.38
2008 1,527.87
2009 1,522.44
2010 1,547.41
2011 1,596.26
2012 1,629.29
2013 1,653.15
2014 1,679.97
2015 1,681.97
2016 1,703.19
2017 1,739.46
2018 1,781.95
2019 1,814.25
2020 1,836.63
2021 1,922.91
2022 2,076.79
2023 2,162.28
2024-05 2,228.76
Today 2,232.75

All available years

Today's value of US dollars by year:

1913 | 1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1924 | 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934 | 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944 | 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022 | 2023 |

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