$20,000 in 2021 is worth $21,574.04 today


Value of $20,000 from 2021 to 2022

$20,000 in 2021 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $21,574.04 today. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 8.58% in the last 12 months. As a result, the real value of a dollar has been decreasing recently.

This means that today's prices are 1.08 times higher than average prices since 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index. A dollar today only buys 92.704% of what it could buy back then.

The inflation rate in 2021 was 4.70%. The current inflation rate compared to last year is now 8.58%. If this number holds, $20,000 today will be equivalent in buying power to $21,716.30 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest inflation rates.

Inflation from 2021 to 2022
Average inflation rate 8.58%
Converted amount ($20,000 base) $21,574.04
Price difference ($20,000 base) $1,574.04
CPI in 2021 270.970
CPI in 2022 292.296
Inflation in 2021 4.70%
Inflation in 2022 8.58%
$20,000 in 2021 $21,574.04 in 2022

Recent USD inflation
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 2021 to 2022 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $20,000):

Atlanta, Georgia experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 2021 and 2022 (7.09%).

Phoenix, Arizona experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 2021 and 2022 (0.00%).

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 2021 would be equivalent to £20,453.29 in 2022, an absolute change of £453.29 and a cumulative change of 2.27%.

In Canada, CA$20,000.00 in 2021 would be equivalent to CA$20,337.79 in 2022, an absolute change of CA$337.79 and a cumulative change of 1.69%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $1,574.04 and total percent change of 7.87%.

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.

Between 2021 and 2022:

This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 2021 and 2022.

Compare these values to the overall average of 8.58% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $20,000 in 2021 → 2022
Food and beverages 6.24 6.24 21,247.85
Housing 4.63 4.63 20,926.65
Apparel 4.96 4.96 20,991.75
Transportation 13.35 13.35 22,670.42
Medical care 2.68 2.68 20,535.64
Recreation 3.28 3.28 20,656.40
Education and communication 0.74 0.74 20,147.05
Other goods and services 4.40 4.40 20,880.26

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 2021. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

How to calculate inflation rate for $20,000 since 2021

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 2021 and today:

CPI today CPI in 2021
2021 USD value
Today's value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 270.97016666667 in the year 2021 and 292.296 in 2022:


$20,000 in 2021 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $21,574.04 in 2022.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 2021 and 2022, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2022 - CPI in 2021CPI in 2021
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

292.296 - 270.97016666667270.97016666667

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 4.36% per year between 2021 and 2022 (vs all-CPI inflation of 8.58%), for an inflation total of 4.36%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $20,000 in 2021 is equivalent in buying power to $20,871.94 in 2022, a difference of $871.94. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $21,574.04 with a difference of $1,574.04.

In 2021, core inflation was 3.57%.

Chained CPI is an alternative measurement that takes into account how consumers adjust spending for similar items. Chained inflation averaged 5.49% per year between 2021 and 2022, a total inflation amount of 5.49%.

According to the Chained CPI measurement, $20,000 in 2021 is equal in buying power to $21,097.38 in 2022, a difference of $1,097.38 (versus a converted amount of $21,574.04/change of $1,574.04 for All Items).

In 2021, chained inflation was 4.48%.

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $20,000 in the S&P 500 index in 2021, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $22,390.86 in 2022. This is a return on investment of 11.95%, with an absolute return of $2,390.86 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 7.30% of returns ($1,633.63) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $20,000 investment is $757.23. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $644 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 2021-2022
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $20,000 $22,390.86 11.95%
Inflation Adjusted
$20,000 $20,757.23 3.79%

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 2021 to latest available data for 2022 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 2021 and 2022, see the stock market returns calculator.

Data source & citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (CPI), established in 1913. Inflation data from 1634 to 1912 is sourced from a historical study conducted by political science professor Robert Sahr at Oregon State University and from the American Antiquarian Society.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “$20,000 in 2021 → 2022 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 29 Jun. 2022, https://www.officialdata.org/2021-dollars-in-2022?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 2021 to 2022
Average inflation rate 8.58%
Converted amount ($20,000 base) $21,574.04
Price difference ($20,000 base) $1,574.04
CPI in 2021 270.970
CPI in 2022 292.296
Inflation in 2021 4.70%
Inflation in 2022 8.58%
$20,000 in 2021 $21,574.04 in 2022