Value of 1981 US Dollars today

$100 in 1981

$293.03 in 2018

The inflation rate in the United States between 1981 and today has been 193.03%, which translates into a total increase of $193.03. This means that 100 dollars in 1981 are equivalent to 293.03 dollars in 2018. In other words, the purchasing power of $100 in 1981 equals $293.03 today. The average annual inflation rate has been 2.87%.

Inflation timeline in the United States (1981-2018)

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 (1981-2018) 185.66%
Total Inflation* 193.03%
Annual inflation avg. (1981-2018) 2.88%
Annual inflation avg.* 2.87%
CPI 1981 36.41
CPI 2018 104.01
CPI today* 106.7
$1 in 1981 $2.86 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 37 years between 1981 and 2018 and the average inflation rate has been 2.8697%. Therefore, we can resolve the formula like this:

FV = PV (1 + i)n = $100 * (1 + 0.03)37 = $285.66

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 1981 was 36.41 and the CPI today is 106.7. Therefore,

Final value = Initial value *
CPI final/CPI initial
= $100 *
104.01/36.41
= $285.66

USA inflation - Conversion table

Initial Value Equivalent value
$1 dollar in 1981 $2.93 dollars today
$5 dollars in 1981 $14.65 dollars today
$10 dollars in 1981 $29.3 dollars today
$50 dollars in 1981 $146.52 dollars today
$100 dollars in 1981 $293.03 dollars today
$500 dollars in 1981 $1,465.17 dollars today
$1,000 dollars in 1981 $2,930.34 dollars today
$5,000 dollars in 1981 $14,651.7 dollars today
$10,000 dollars in 1981 $29,303.39 dollars today
$50,000 dollars in 1981 $146,516.96 dollars today
$100,000 dollars in 1981 $293,033.93 dollars today
$500,000 dollars in 1981 $1,465,169.65 dollars today
$1,000,000 dollars in 1981 $2,930,339.3 dollars today

Value of Dollar in time (by year)

Period Value
1981 100
1982 108.92
1983 113.09
1984 117.38
1985 122.02
1986 126.65
1987 128.04
1988 133.72
1989 139.63
1990 146.12
1991 155.04
1992 159.79
1993 164.43
1994 168.95
1995 173.46
1996 177.87
1997 183.78
1998 186.91
1999 189.92
2000 195.02
2001 201.62
2002 204.75
2003 209.62
2004 213.56
2005 220.51
2006 228.04
2007 233.84
2008 243.38
2009 243.6
2010 250.23
2011 253.97
2012 261.5
2013 266.05
2014 270.05
2015 272.09
2016 274.07
2017 279.76
2018 285.66
Today 293.03