# How can I convert 1930s dollars to today's (cost of living adjustment)?

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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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)

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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

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

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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