$20 in 1983 → $51.31 in 2019

Inflation Calculator

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U.S. Inflation Rate, $20 in 1983 to 2019

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today's prices in 2019 are 156.57% higher than average prices throughout 1983. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.65% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, $20 in 1983 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $51.31 in 2019, a difference of $31.31 over 36 years.

The 1983 inflation rate was 3.21%. The current inflation rate (2018 to 2019) is now 2.00%1. If this number holds, $20 today will be equivalent in buying power to $20.40 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.


Inflation from 1983 to 2019
Cumulative price change 156.57%
Average inflation rate 2.65%
Converted amount ($20 base) $51.31
Price difference ($20 base) $31.31
CPI in 1983 99.600
CPI in 2019 255.548
Inflation in 1983 3.21%
Inflation in 2019 2.00%


USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
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Buying power of $20 in 1983

This chart shows calculation of buying power equivalence, often referred to as "the value of a dollar" over time for $20 in 1983 (price index tracking began in 1635).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, each of these USD amounts below is equal in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1983 $20.00 3.21%
1984 $20.86 4.32%
1985 $21.61 3.56%
1986 $22.01 1.86%
1987 $22.81 3.65%
1988 $23.76 4.14%
1989 $24.90 4.82%
1990 $26.24 5.40%
1991 $27.35 4.21%
1992 $28.17 3.01%
1993 $29.02 2.99%
1994 $29.76 2.56%
1995 $30.60 2.83%
1996 $31.51 2.95%
1997 $32.23 2.29%
1998 $32.73 1.56%
1999 $33.45 2.21%
2000 $34.58 3.36%
2001 $35.56 2.85%
2002 $36.12 1.58%
2003 $36.95 2.28%
2004 $37.93 2.66%
2005 $39.22 3.39%
2006 $40.48 3.23%
2007 $41.63 2.85%
2008 $43.23 3.84%
2009 $43.08 -0.36%
2010 $43.79 1.64%
2011 $45.17 3.16%
2012 $46.10 2.07%
2013 $46.78 1.46%
2014 $47.54 1.62%
2015 $47.59 0.12%
2016 $48.19 1.26%
2017 $49.22 2.13%
2018 $50.42 2.44%
2019 $51.31 1.77%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1983 to 2019 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $20):

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 36 years between 1983 and 2019 (3.07%).

Houston, Texas experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 36 years between 1983 and 2019 (2.31%).

Note that some locations showing 0% inflation may have not yet reported latest data.


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £20.00 in 1983 would be equivalent to £66.93 in 2019, an absolute change of £46.93 and a cumulative change of 234.65%.

In Canada, CA$20.00 in 1983 would be equivalent to CA$45.07 in 2019, an absolute change of CA$25.07 and a cumulative change of 125.34%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $31.31 and total percent change of 156.57%.


Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1983 and 2019.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.65% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $20 in 1983 → 2019
Food 2.68 158.80 51.76
Shelter 3.26 217.25 63.45
Energy 2.12 113.00 42.60
Apparel 0.61 24.61 24.92
New vehicles 1.05 45.54 29.11
Used cars and trucks 0.61 24.52 24.90
Transportation services 3.34 226.61 65.32
Medical care services 4.71 424.28 104.86
Medical care commodities 3.77 278.97 75.79

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1983. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $20 since 1983

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2019CPI in 1983
×
1983 USD value
=
2019 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 99.6 in the year 1983 and 255.548 in 2019:

255.54899.6
×
$20
=
$51.31

$20 in 1983 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $51.31 in 2019.

To get the total inflation rate for the 36 years between 1983 and 2019, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2019 - CPI in 1983CPI in 1983
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (36 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

255.548 - 99.699.6
×
100
=
157%

Alternate Measurements of Inflation

The above data describe the CPI for all items. Also of note is the Core CPI, which measures inflation for all items except for the more volatile categories of food and energy. Core inflation averaged 2.72% per year between 1983 and 2019 (vs all-CPI inflation of 2.65%), for an inflation total of 162.36%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $20 in 1983 is equivalent in buying power to $52.47 in 2019, a difference of $32.47. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $51.31 with a difference of $31.31.

In 1983, core inflation was 3.93%.


Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 2.65% has a compounding effect between 1983 and 2019. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 156.57% over 36 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $20 in the S&P 500 index in 1983, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $962.96 in 2019. This is a return on investment of 4,714.81%, with an absolute return of $942.96.

These numbers are not inflation adjusted, so they are considered nominal. In order to evaluate the real return on our investment, we must calculate the return with inflation taken into account.

The compounding effect of inflation would account for 61.02% of returns ($575.44) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $20 investment is $367.52.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1983-2019
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $20 $962.96 4,714.81%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$20 $367.52 1,837.60%


News headlines from 1983

Politics and news often influence economic performance. Here's what was happening at the time:

  • 26 million pounds in gold, diamonds and cash is stolen from Brink's-Mat warehouse at Heathrow Airport in London, which is considered to be one of the world's greatest robberies.
  • Ronald Reagan ends the United States embargo against Guatemala.

Data Source & Citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (CPI), established in 1913. Inflation data from 1665 to 1912 is sourced from a historical study conducted by political science professor Robert Sahr at Oregon State University.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “$20 in 1983 → 2019 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 22 May. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/1983-dollars-in-2019?amount=20.

Special thanks to QuickChart for providing downloadable chart images.

in2013dollars.com is a reference website maintained by the Official Data Foundation.


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