Special Report

What the Stock Market Was Worth the Year You Were Born

Like the economy as a whole, the stock market is much larger today than it was in 1917. While the economy has had its up and downs, the Dow has experienced much more extreme swings over the course of its history.

One of the most notable events in the history of the often-referenced index is the lows during the Great Depression. The Dow started the tumultuous 1929 year at an inflation-adjusted level of 4,314.2 points. In October of that year, the Dow lost nearly one-quarter of its value in just two days. The Dow reached its lowest point on July 8, 1932, with an adjusted value of 725.90 points — only 17% of its value at the start of 1929.

After the historic low, the Dow soared by nearly 70% in 1933, the largest single year growth in the history of the index. Still, the Dow did not return to its pre-Great Depression level until the mid 1950s.

There have been several other dramatic stock market swings since the Great Depression. The largest single day drop in the index’s history occurred during a stock market crash on Oct. 19, 1987, when the Dow nose-dived 22.6%. The Dow’s value doubled between 1995 and 1999 during the dot-com boom, only to collapse between 2000 and 2002. Relatively soon after, the Dow lost nearly a third of its value in 2008, as the financial crisis of the summer of 2007 hit global markets.

To determine the value of the Dow Jones Industrial Average the year you were born, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed daily Dow figures aggregated by economic research website MeasuringWorth.com. Historical Dow data are inflation-adjusted using annual headline CPI in chained 2016 dollars.

This is the value of the Dow the year you were born.