Chart of the Week: What has been the trend in interest rates over the past 700 years?

Mar 17, 2020
Chart of the Week, Credit Cards

From Visual Capitalist: 


Interesting visual showing the history of interest rates since 1310. Perfect to share with your European history teachers.

Here were the closing interest rates on debt issued by the U.S. Treasury over the past two weeks: 

Note that on 3/9/20, all Treasuries from 1 month to 30 years were yielding under 1%...truly incredible! 


  • What has been the long-term trend in interest rates since 1310? 
  • The purple dots on the far right are U.S. interest rates. What has been the trend since the 1970s according to this chart? 
  • Are low interest rates good for savers? good for borrowers? 


Thanks to NGPF super intern Ansh for compiling the last 20+ Charts of the Week in this document. 




About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.