# \$500 in 1990 → \$960.62 in 2018

## Inflation Calculator

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👉 You may be interested in \$500 in 1990 → 2019

### U.S. Inflation Rate, \$500 in 1990 to 2018

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2018 are 92.12% higher than average prices throughout 1990. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.36% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, \$500 in 1990 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$960.62 in 2018, a difference of \$460.62 over 28 years.

The 1990 inflation rate was 5.40%. The inflation rate in 2018 was 2.44%. The 2018 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 1.23% per year between 2018 and 2019.

 Cumulative price change 92.12% Average inflation rate 2.36% Converted amount (\$500 base) \$960.62 Price difference (\$500 base) \$460.62 CPI in 1990 130.700 CPI in 2018 251.107 Inflation in 1990 5.40% Inflation in 2018 2.44%

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

### Buying power of \$500 in 1990

This chart shows calculation of buying power equivalence, often referred to as "the value of a dollar" over time for \$500 in 1990 (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
1990 \$500.00 5.40%
1991 \$521.04 4.21%
1992 \$536.73 3.01%
1993 \$552.79 2.99%
1994 \$566.95 2.56%
1995 \$583.01 2.83%
1996 \$600.23 2.95%
1997 \$614.00 2.29%
1998 \$623.57 1.56%
1999 \$637.34 2.21%
2000 \$658.76 3.36%
2001 \$677.51 2.85%
2002 \$688.22 1.58%
2003 \$703.90 2.28%
2004 \$722.65 2.66%
2005 \$747.13 3.39%
2006 \$771.23 3.23%
2007 \$793.20 2.85%
2008 \$823.65 3.84%
2009 \$820.72 -0.36%
2010 \$834.19 1.64%
2011 \$860.52 3.16%
2012 \$878.32 2.07%
2013 \$891.19 1.46%
2014 \$905.65 1.62%
2015 \$906.72 0.12%
2016 \$918.16 1.26%
2017 \$937.72 2.13%
2018 \$960.62 2.44%
2019 \$972.46 1.23%*
* 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 1990 to 2018 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of \$500):

San Diego, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 28 years between 1990 and 2018 (3.41%).

St Louis, Missouri experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 28 years between 1990 and 2018 (2.09%).

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 £500.00 in 1990 would be equivalent to £1,107.13 in 2018, an absolute change of £607.13 and a cumulative change of 121.43%.

In Canada, CA\$500.00 in 1990 would be equivalent to CA\$818.52 in 2018, an absolute change of CA\$318.52 and a cumulative change of 63.70%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$460.62 and total percent change of 92.12%.

### 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 1990 and 2018.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.36% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$500 in 1990 → 2018
Food 2.35 91.55 957.77
Shelter 2.85 119.78 1,098.92
Energy 2.78 115.49 1,077.46
Apparel 0.04 1.27 506.33
New vehicles 0.67 20.50 602.50
Used cars and trucks 0.58 17.67 588.37
Transportation services 2.91 123.23 1,116.16
Medical care services 4.22 218.30 1,591.51
Medical care commodities 3.07 133.43 1,167.16

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1990. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.

### How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$500, 1990 to 2018

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018CPI in 1990
×
1990 USD value
=
2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 130.7 in the year 1990 and 251.10683333333 in 2018:

251.10683333333130.7
×
\$500
=
\$960.62

\$500 in 1990 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$960.62 in 2018.

To get the total inflation rate for the 28 years between 1990 and 2018, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2018 - CPI in 1990CPI in 1990
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (28 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

251.10683333333 - 130.7130.7
×
100
=
92%

### 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 2.32% per year between 1990 and 2018 (vs all-CPI inflation of 2.36%), for an inflation total of 90.14%.

When using the core inflation measurement, \$500 in 1990 is equivalent in buying power to \$950.69 in 2018, a difference of \$450.69. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is \$960.62 with a difference of \$460.62.

In 1990, core inflation was 5.03%.

### Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 2.36% has a compounding effect between 1990 and 2018. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 92.12% over 28 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested \$500 in the S&P 500 index in 1990, our investment would be nominally worth approximately \$6,963.69 in 2018. This is a return on investment of 1,292.74%, with an absolute return of \$6,463.69.

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 47.95% of returns (\$3,099.37) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our \$500 investment is \$3,364.32.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1990-2018
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal \$500 \$6,963.69 1,292.74%
Real
\$500 \$3,364.32 672.86%

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

• Nelson Mandela is released having spent 27 years in South African prison.
• The Hubble Space Telescope takes its first photos from space.
• Dr Penny Jamieson, becomes the first woman to be made an Anglican Bishop, in New Zeeland
• The United States sends troops to Saudi Arabia, marking the beginning of Operation Desert Shield.

### 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: “\$500 in 1990 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 18 Apr. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/1990-dollars-in-2018?amount=500.