Value of 1978 US Dollars today

$100 in 1978

$407.23 in 2018

The inflation rate in the United States between 1978 and today has been 307.23%, which translates into a total increase of $307.23. This means that 100 dollars in 1978 are equivalent to 407.23 dollars in 2018. In other words, the purchasing power of $100 in 1978 equals $407.23 today. The average annual inflation rate has been 3.48%.

Inflation timeline in the United States (1978-2018)

The following chart ilustrates the equivalence of $100 throughout the years due to inflation and CPI changes. All values are equivalent in terms of purchashing 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 obtained by estimating figures from recent trends.

The following table contains relevant indicators:

Indicator Value
Total Inflation (1978-2018) 296.98%
Total Inflation* 307.23%
Annual inflation avg. (1978-2018) 3.51%
Annual inflation avg.* 3.48%
CPI 1978 26.2
CPI 2018 104.01
CPI today* 106.7
$1 in 1978 $3.97 in 2018

* Values extrapolated from the last official data to obtain today's values.

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 compound interest formula or the Consumer Price Index (CPI) formula.

Using the compound interest formula

Given that money changes in time as a result of an inflation rate that acts as a compound interest, the following formula can be used: 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 40 years between 1978 and 2018 and the average inflation rate has been 3.4842%. Therefore, we can resolve the formula like this:

FV = PV (1 + i)n = $100 * (1 + 0.03)40 = $396.98

Using the CPI formula

When the CPI for both start and end years is known, the following formula can be used:

Final value = Initial value *
CPI final/CPI initial

In this case, the CPI in 1978 was 26.2 and the CPI today is 106.7. Therefore,

Final value = Initial value *
CPI final/CPI initial
= $100 *
104.01/26.2
= $396.98

USA inflation - Conversion table

Initial Value Equivalent value
$1 dollar in 1978 $4.07 dollars today
$5 dollars in 1978 $20.36 dollars today
$10 dollars in 1978 $40.72 dollars today
$50 dollars in 1978 $203.61 dollars today
$100 dollars in 1978 $407.23 dollars today
$500 dollars in 1978 $2,036.14 dollars today
$1,000 dollars in 1978 $4,072.27 dollars today
$5,000 dollars in 1978 $20,361.36 dollars today
$10,000 dollars in 1978 $40,722.73 dollars today
$50,000 dollars in 1978 $203,613.63 dollars today
$100,000 dollars in 1978 $407,227.26 dollars today
$500,000 dollars in 1978 $2,036,136.32 dollars today
$1,000,000 dollars in 1978 $4,072,272.64 dollars today

Value of Dollar in time (by year)

Period Value
1978 100
1979 109.02
1980 123.51
1981 138.97
1982 151.37
1983 157.17
1984 163.12
1985 169.57
1986 176.01
1987 177.94
1988 185.83
1989 194.04
1990 203.06
1991 215.46
1992 222.06
1993 228.5
1994 234.78
1995 241.06
1996 247.18
1997 255.39
1998 259.74
1999 263.93
2000 271.01
2001 280.19
2002 284.54
2003 291.3
2004 296.78
2005 306.44
2006 316.91
2007 324.96
2008 338.22
2009 338.53
2010 347.74
2011 352.95
2012 363.4
2013 369.73
2014 375.28
2015 378.12
2016 380.88
2017 388.78
2018 396.98
Today 407.23