$20,000 in 2008 is worth $23,748.62 in 2019

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Value of $20,000 from 2008 to 2019

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2019 are 18.74% higher than average prices since 2008. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 1.57% per year during this period, causing the real value of a dollar to decrease.

In other words, $20,000 in 2008 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $23,748.62 in 2019, a difference of $3,748.62 over 11 years.

The 2008 inflation rate was 3.84%. The inflation rate in 2019 was 1.76%. The 2019 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 1.67% per year between 2019 and 2020.


Inflation from 2008 to 2019
Cumulative price change 18.74%
Average inflation rate 1.57%
Converted amount ($20,000 base) $23,748.62
Price difference ($20,000 base) $3,748.62
CPI in 2008 215.303
CPI in 2019 255.658
Inflation in 2008 3.84%
Inflation in 2019 1.76%

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
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Buying power of $20,000 in 2008

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $20,000 in 2008 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $20,000, you would need to end with $23,748.62 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $20,000 is equivalent to $23,748.62 over time, that means that the "real value" of a single U.S. dollar decreases over time. In other words, a dollar will pay for fewer items at the store.

This effect explains how inflation erodes the value of a dollar over time. By calculating the value in 2008 dollars, the chart below shows how $20,000 is worth less over 11 years.

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:

Dollar inflation: 2008-2019
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
2008 $20,000.00 3.84%
2009 $19,928.84 -0.36%
2010 $20,255.73 1.64%
2011 $20,895.11 3.16%
2012 $21,327.52 2.07%
2013 $21,639.92 1.46%
2014 $21,990.96 1.62%
2015 $22,017.06 0.12%
2016 $22,294.81 1.26%
2017 $22,769.77 2.13%
2018 $23,337.34 2.49%
2019 $23,748.62 1.76%
2020 $24,144.39 1.67%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 5 more rows

This conversion table shows various other 2008 amounts in 2019 dollars, based on the 18.74% change in prices:

Conversion Table: Value of a dollar in 2019
Initial value Equivalent value
$1 dollar in 2008 $1.19 dollars in 2019
$5 dollars in 2008 $5.94 dollars in 2019
$10 dollars in 2008 $11.87 dollars in 2019
$50 dollars in 2008 $59.37 dollars in 2019
$100 dollars in 2008 $118.74 dollars in 2019
$500 dollars in 2008 $593.72 dollars in 2019
$1,000 dollars in 2008 $1,187.43 dollars in 2019
$5,000 dollars in 2008 $5,937.16 dollars in 2019
$10,000 dollars in 2008 $11,874.31 dollars in 2019
$50,000 dollars in 2008 $59,371.56 dollars in 2019
$100,000 dollars in 2008 $118,743.12 dollars in 2019
$500,000 dollars in 2008 $593,715.60 dollars in 2019
$1,000,000 dollars in 2008 $1,187,431.20 dollars in 2019

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 2008 to 2019 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $20,000):

San Diego, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 11 years between 2008 and 2019 (2.90%).

Chicago, Illinois experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 11 years between 2008 and 2019 (1.16%).

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 £20,000.00 in 2008 would be equivalent to £26,464.24 in 2019, an absolute change of £6,464.24 and a cumulative change of 32.32%.

In Canada, CA$20,000.00 in 2008 would be equivalent to CA$23,548.10 in 2019, an absolute change of CA$3,548.10 and a cumulative change of 17.74%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $3,748.62 and total percent change of 18.74%.


Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. Breaking down these categories helps explain the main drivers behind price changes. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 2008 and 2019.

Compare these values to the overall average of 1.57% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $20,000 in 2008 → 2019
Food and beverages 1.70 20.44 24,087.60
Housing 1.90 22.98 24,595.95
Apparel 0.39 4.33 20,865.34
Transportation 0.65 7.42 21,484.94
Medical care 2.90 36.90 27,380.33
Recreation 0.57 6.50 21,299.80
Education and communication 0.99 11.45 22,290.69
Other goods and services 2.46 30.66 26,132.78

The graph below compares inflation in categories of goods over time. Click on a category such as "Food" to toggle it on or off:

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 2008. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $20,000, 2008 to 2019

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 2008 and 2019:

CPI in 2019 CPI in 2008
×
2008 USD value
=
2019 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 215.303 in the year 2008 and 255.6575 in 2019:

255.6575215.303
×
$20,000
=
$23,748.62

$20,000 in 2008 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $23,748.62 in 2019.

To get the total inflation rate for the 11 years between 2008 and 2019, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2019 - CPI in 2008CPI in 2008
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (11 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

255.6575 - 215.303215.303
×
100
=
19%

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 1.83% per year between 2008 and 2019 (vs all-CPI inflation of 1.57%), for an inflation total of 22.10%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $20,000 in 2008 is equivalent in buying power to $24,419.81 in 2019, a difference of $4,419.81. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $23,748.62 with a difference of $3,748.62.

In 2008, core inflation was 2.30%.

Chained CPI is an alternative measurement that takes into account how consumers adjust spending for similar items. Chained inflation averaged 1.33% per year between 2008 and 2019, a total inflation amount of 22.10%.

According to the Chained CPI measurement, $20,000 in 2008 is equal in buying power to $23,134.48 in 2019, a difference of $3,134.48 (versus a converted amount of $23,748.62/change of $3,748.62 for All Items).

In 2008, chained inflation was 3.73%.


Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 1.57% has a compounding effect between 2008 and 2019. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 18.74% over 11 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $20,000 in the S&P 500 index in 2008, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $60,967.39 in 2019. This is a return on investment of 204.84%, with an absolute return of $40,967.39 on top of the original $20,000.

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 15.78% of returns ($9,623.45) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $20,000 investment is $31,343.93. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $26,642 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 2008-2019
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $20,000 $60,967.39 204.84%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$20,000 $51,343.93 156.72%

Information displayed above may differ slightly from other S&P 500 calculators. Minor discrepancies can occur because we use the latest CPI data for inflation, annualized inflation numbers for previous years, and we compute S&P price and dividends from January of 2008 to latest available data for 2019 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 2008 and 2019, see the stock market returns calculator.


News headlines from 2008

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

  • Black Monday: stock markets crash all over the globe, resulting in enormous drops in global stock markets and halts in trading.
  • Fidel Castro retires as Cuban President due to ill health, after nearly 50 years in power.
  • Barak Obama becomes the first African American to receive the presidential nomination of his party.

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: “$20,000 in 2008 → 2019 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 26 Sep. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/2008-dollars-in-2019?amount=20000.

Special thanks to QuickChart for their chart image API, which is used for chart downloads.

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


Ian Webster

About the author

Ian Webster is an engineer and data expert based in San Mateo, California. He has worked for Google, NASA, and consulted for governments around the world on data pipelines and data analysis. Disappointed by the lack of clear resources on the impacts of inflation on economic indicators, Ian believes this website serves as a valuable public tool. Ian earned his degree in Computer Science from Dartmouth College.

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» Read more about inflation and investment.

Inflation from 2008 to 2019
Cumulative price change 18.74%
Average inflation rate 1.57%
Converted amount ($20,000 base) $23,748.62
Price difference ($20,000 base) $3,748.62
CPI in 2008 215.303
CPI in 2019 255.658
Inflation in 2008 3.84%
Inflation in 2019 1.76%