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Google Calculator can convert one currency to another at today's exchange rates, but often I'll want to convert one currency to itself at a different time. For example, what would $1,000 in 1930 be worth in today's dollars? Is there a Web app to do this?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 26 down vote accepted

Slap it into WolframAlpha (although I still dislike the guess-the-syntax game)

Here is what you can use.

compute the current value of a historical quantity of money

$1000 (1930 dollars)

compute historical equivalent value of today's money

1000 current dollars in 1930

convert one historical quantity of money to another

$1000 1930 dollars in 1975

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=+$1,000+in+1930+be+worth+today

This returns

$ 12952.10(2010 US dollars)

Also gives the purchasing power.

alt text

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I wish the graph was logarithmic. –  Tadeusz A. Kadłubowski Jul 11 '10 at 6:06
    
Out of curiosity, I tried to guess a syntax for converting 1930s dollars to 1975 dollars, but it was an exercise in frustration. –  Joe White Jul 13 '10 at 12:00
    
@Joe White As I said, I hate the guessing game. You will want $ 1000 (1930 US dollars) in 1975 that returns this http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=$1000+1930+dollars+in+1975 , for a sort of guide ... type in inflation. –  phwd Jul 13 '10 at 13:52
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Try this site, it gives the purchasing power of money for the US and UK going back to 1257 http://eh.net/hmit/

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You have to apply an inflation based coefficient, there's an entire site on this topic: http://inflationdata.com/Inflation/Inflation/Inflation.asp.

However it is not that simple, as the raw convertion is not an indication of the real value of money. So you have to take in account purchasing power: http://www.measuringworth.com/ppowerus/

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+1. Good point about purchasing power. –  Peter Mortensen Jul 15 '10 at 12:53
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