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May 3, 2024 Currency Exchange
6 minutes, 25 seconds Read

1 USD to INR from 1947 till now, Historical Exchange Rates Explained

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Introduction

The US dollar serves as the world’s most dominant currency. Regarded as the benchmark currency, the US dollar determines the value of other currencies in the universal market. The US dollar is also one of the most commonly used currencies in international investment and trade. Trading with the dollar is much easier than any other currency. 

The emergence of the dollar as an indispensable medium of exchange began after World War I placed restrictions on exchanges. Since then, the dollar has been enjoying worldwide attention. In light of this, the Indian currency, like various others, is compared against the dollar to determine its value. In this blog, we’re taking a trip down memory lane to see how the exchange rate between the US dollar (USD) and the Indian rupee (INR) has changed since India’s independence in 1947.

What’s been the value of 1 USD to INR since 1947 till date?

The 1 USD to INR exchange rate has always had extreme volatility since its inception and has seen a lot of fluctuations over the years. We have brought you 1 USD to INR values table ranging all the way from 1947 till date so that you can see the change in INR’s value.

YEAR1 USD TO INRYEAR1 USD TO INR
19130.09198512.37
19250.1198612.61
19474.16198712.96
19483.31198813.92
19493.67198916.23
19504.76199017.5
19514.76199122.74
19524.76199225.92
19534.76199330.49
19544.76199431.37
19554.76199532.43
19564.76199635.43
19574.76199736.31
19584.76199841.26
19594.76199943.06
19604.76200044.94
19614.76200147.19
19624.76200248.61
19634.76200346.58
19644.76200445.32
19654.76200544.1
19666.36200645.31
19677.5200741.35
19687.5200843.51
19697.5200948.41
19707.5201045.73
19717.49201146.67
19727.59201253.44
19737.74201356.57
19748.1201462.33
19758.38201562.97
19768.96201666.46
19778.74201767.79
19788.19201870.09
19798.13201970.39
19807.86202076.38
19818.66202174.57
19829.46202281.35
198310.1202381.94
198411.36Apr'202483.14

1-USD-to-INR.jpg

Breaking the monotony on this legendary question–How has the value of the Indian rupee changed since 1947 to date? We’ve come up with a detailed answer that clarifies the smog from this long-lived question. Firstly, there’s some debate about the exact exchange rate in 1947. Some sources suggest it might have been close to 1 USD = 1 INR. Honestly, it is nothing more than a myth. If you are thinking that exchanging 1 USD for INR in 1947 would have got you 1 Rupee exactly, then, sadly, that’s not true. ‘Why‘ do you ask? Here’s the answer:

1. When India got her independence in the year 1947- there were no outstanding credits on
the balance sheet of India that kept the Indian Rupee at parity with the US Dollar.

2. Another fact that one should notice is that India was under British Raj prior to its independence thus, the Indian Rupee was pegged to Pounds then, keeping the value stable at that moment, which obviously, didn’t last long.

3. As reported: from 1927 to 1966, 1 pound was valued at 13 INR. The arrangement ended in the year 1966 and the rupee started witnessing devaluation.

4. In fact, after the independence when India launched its 5-Year Plan, the Indian Rupee resultingly used to peg with the U.S. dollar at a rate of 7.5 rupees = 1 dollar until 1971.

Another question that arises is —What was the actual worth of 1 USD to INR in 1947 exactly?

After Independence, the Indian rupee continued to peg to the British pound at a rate of 1 rupee = 1 shilling and 6 pence, which can be understood as 13 1/3 rupees per British pound. However, sources indicate that the British pound would have been worth about 4 USD at that point in time – hence, leading to the conclusion that the US Dollar would have been valued at more than Rs 3 then.

Note: India became a republic nation in 1950. The constitution of India came into existence in 1952. At that time 1 USD was equal to 4.766 INR or 1 USD =4.76 NCU. (NCU is National Currency Unit)

Also Read:  USD To INR currency conversion: How to avoid a common travel blunder

Factors Contributing To The Indian Rupee Depreciation (1 USD to INR) – History Explained

The inception – 1947

Indian currency began to be measured against the US dollar in 1947 after India gained its independence. The value of 1 INR then could be taken as 1 USD, considering that the national balance sheet was free from any credit or debit.

However, the value of Indian currency was derived from the British pound, which then was 1 £ equal to 13 INR. Owing to the absence of a standard form of currency comparison until 1944, this valuation of INR against the British pound remained dominant.

Economic Challenges and Exchange Rate Fluctuations – 1950 to 1967

The value of 1 INR in 1950 was 4.76 (if a direct comparison is not made). This value continued till 1966. However, the Indian economy started witnessing a downfall starting from the 1950s. This was on account of the country’s credit from the international market.

The situation was worsened by the 1962 war between India and China, followed by the 1965 war between India and Pakistan, and the drought that hit the nation in 1966. All these turned the exchange rate of 1 Dollar to INR 7.50 by the year 1967.

The Oil Crisis – 1973

Rupee value fell to 8.10 in 1974 following the Oil Shock that took place in 1973 due to the decision of the OAPEC or Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce production.

To combat the situation and the subsequent political crisis, India had to borrow foreign currency. This resulted in the fall of the Indian currency value. The exchange rate deteriorated throughout the 1980s and reached a value as high as 17.50 in 1990.

The Economic Crisis and Devaluation – 1990

India’s economy was going through a tough time in the 1990s. Interest payments accounted for 39% of the revenue that the government collected at the time. The fiscal deficit was reduced to 7.8% of GDP, and India was on the verge of being declared a defaulter in the international market.

This crisis called for a devaluation of the Indian currency. Devaluation is a process where countries reduce the value of their currency in the international market while keeping their internal value intact. India took a similar approach to make its export market cheaper and its import market costlier.

The Effect of Devaluation – 1992

The devaluation turned the exchange rate of 1 USD to 25.92 INR in the year 1992. The Indian currency value kept falling since then! The Dollar price in 2004 was 45.32 INR, and in the next ten years, it rose to 62.33. 

The 21st Century – The Ups & Downs

The Indian government’s economic liberalization policies initiated in the 1990s started bearing fruit. Increased foreign investment and a growing Information Technology (IT) sector boosted India’s foreign exchange reserves. This kept the rupee value somewhat stable and even gained strength for a brief period in the early 2000s.

However, during 2011-2020, the gap between India’s imports and exports (current account deficit) widened significantly which weakened the rupee. The government’s economic policies might also have indirectly affected the exchange rate.

USD to INR in the recent years 2021-2024

The Indian Rupee (INR) has continued to weaken against the US Dollar (USD) from 2021 to 2024. The gap between India’s imports and exports remains a concern. The high cost of oil imports and strong global demand for certain Indian exports haven’t been enough to offset the deficit. This increased demand for foreign currency to pay for imports continues to put pressure on the rupee.

Factors Affecting USD-INR Exchange Rates

A fluctuating exchange rate between INR and USD is not something new. Currency values fluctuate every day, and so does the value of the rupee in relation to the US dollar.  Numerous factors have influenced the USD-INR exchange rate over the years. Five such factors are listed below. 

  • INR-USD exchange rates are affected by the inflation rate in India and USA. 
  • The interest rate is another important factor in determining INR-USD exchange rates. 
  • Exchange rates are influenced by government debt as well. 
  • Terms of trade are the next factor to consider. It is defined by the ratio of the index of a country’s export prices to the index of its import prices. 
  • Last but not least, the INR-USD rate is also affected by the political stability in both India and the United States. 

USD to INR Rates in April 2024:

The highest exchange rate is 83.6689 INR.

The average exchange rate in  2024 is 83.1427 INR.

The lowest exchange rate is 82.7524 INR

Check out here for next 12 month USD to INR Forecast

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