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Value of 1981 US Dollars today

$18,300 in 1981
$63,268.7 in 2024

The inflation rate in the United States between 1981 and today has been 245.73%, which translates into a total increase of $44,968.7. This means that 18,300 dollars in 1981 are equivalent to 63,268.7 dollars in 2024. In other words, the purchasing power of $18,300 in 1981 equals $63,268.7 today. The average annual inflation rate between these periods has been 2.93%.

Inflation timeline in the United States (1981 - 2024)

The following chart depicts the equivalence of $18,300 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 1981-2023 235.11%
Cumulative inflation 1981-today 245.73%
Avg. Annual inflation 1981-2023 2.92%
CPI 1981 90.93
CPI 2023 304.7
CPI 2024-04 (latest official data) 313.55
CPI today 314.36

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 1981 and 2023, use the corresponding CPI values:

Value2023
=Value1981 ×
CPI2023/CPI1981
=$ 18,300 ×
304.7/90.93
$61,325.7

To obtain the equivalent value today (present value), plug in the CPI for today, which is estimated as 314.36:

Valuetoday
=Value1981 ×
CPItoday/CPI1981
=$ 18,300 ×
314.36/90.93
$63,268.7

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 $18,300 worth today. There are 42 years between 1981 and 2023 and the average inflation rate was 2.9211%. Therefore, we can resolve the formula like this:

Value2023
=PV × (1 + i)n
=$18,300 × (1 + 0.029211)42
$61,325.7

US inflation - Conversion table

Initial Value Equivalent value
$1 dollar in 1981 $3.35 dollars in 2023
$5 dollars in 1981 $16.76 dollars in 2023
$10 dollars in 1981 $33.51 dollars in 2023
$50 dollars in 1981 $167.56 dollars in 2023
$100 dollars in 1981 $335.11 dollars in 2023
$500 dollars in 1981 $1,675.57 dollars in 2023
$1,000 dollars in 1981 $3,351.13 dollars in 2023
$5,000 dollars in 1981 $16,755.65 dollars in 2023
$10,000 dollars in 1981 $33,511.31 dollars in 2023
$50,000 dollars in 1981 $167,556.55 dollars in 2023
$100,000 dollars in 1981 $335,113.1 dollars in 2023
$500,000 dollars in 1981 $1,675,565.48 dollars in 2023
$1,000,000 dollars in 1981 $3,351,130.97 dollars in 2023
Cumulative inflation From 1981 245.73%
Avg. annual inflation From 1981 2.93%
CPI 1981 90.93
CPI today 314.36

Value of Dollar over time (by year)

Period Value
1981 18,300
1982 19,422.05
1983 20,045.97
1984 20,908.06
1985 21,649.38
1986 22,060.3
1987 22,868.71
1988 23,801.24
1989 24,950.12
1990 26,296.92
1991 27,410.59
1992 28,240.8
1993 29,074.37
1994 29,832.47
1995 30,669.4
1996 31,568.38
1997 32,306.35
1998 32,807.84
1999 33,525.68
2000 34,657.79
2001 35,637.28
2002 36,202.5
2003 37,024.33
2004 38,015.56
2005 39,305.33
2006 40,573.3
2007 41,730.73
2008 43,332.81
2009 43,178.74
2010 43,886.89
2011 45,272.33
2012 46,209.17
2013 46,886.06
2014 47,646.65
2015 47,703.17
2016 48,304.99
2017 49,333.94
2018 50,538.96
2019 51,454.83
2020 52,089.57
2021 54,536.67
2022 58,901.13
2023 61,325.7
2024-04 63,106.17
Today 63,268.7

All available years

Today's value of US dollars by year:

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