Alcohol priced at $10 in 1981 $31.27 in 2024

Alcohol Inflation Calculator

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Prices for Alcohol, 1981-2024 ($10)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for alcoholic beverages are 212.69% higher in 2024 versus 1981 (a $21.27 difference in value).

The current national average price is $1.78 for "Malt beverages, all types, all sizes, any origin, per 16 oz. (473.2 ml)". This data is collected by a national survey and can vary from region to region.

Between 1981 and 2024: Alcohol experienced an average inflation rate of 2.69% per year. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, alcohol costing $10 in the year 1981 would cost $31.27 in 2024 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.90% during this same period, inflation for alcohol was lower.

In the year 1981: Pricing changed by 7.11%, which is significantly above the average yearly change for alcohol during the 1981-2024 time period. Compared to inflation for all items in 1981 (10.33%), inflation for alcohol was much lower.

Price Inflation for Alcoholic beverages since 1952

Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Years with the largest changes in pricing: 1991 (10.47%), 1980 (8.10%), and 1979 (7.86%).

Price history

The average price for Alcohol is calculated from a weighted average of retailer data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Inflation rate is also calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The table below shows average prices and their corresponding "real" prices adjusted for inflation rate. To understand how price levels differ from inflation rates, see this article published by the BLS.

Average prices for Malt beverages, all types, all sizes, any origin, per 16 oz. (473.2 ml):

YearAverage price (Alcohol)Inflation adjusted price (2024 dollars)
2024$1.78 (latest available value)$1.78
2023$1.74$1.77
2022$1.66$1.75
2021$1.53$1.68
2020$1.48$1.67
2019$1.44$1.65
2018$1.41$1.64
2017$1.39$1.63
2016$1.35$1.61
2015$1.32$1.59
2014$1.28$1.56
2013$1.28$1.58
2012$1.25$1.57
2011$1.24$1.59
2010$1.23$1.60
2009$1.21$1.58
2008$1.16$1.57
2007$1.12$1.57
2006$1.11$1.60
2005$1.09$1.60
2004$1.07$1.60
2003$1.01$1.57
2002$0.99$1.56
2001$0.96$1.54
2000$0.92$1.52
1999$0.88$1.50
1998$0.86$1.50
1997$0.84$1.50
1996$0.84$1.53
1995$0.81$1.52

View price changes for other categories
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Buying power of $10.00 since 1981

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Alcohol, over time, for $10 beginning in 1981. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

YearUSD ValueInflation Rate
1981$10.007.11%
1982$10.454.49%
1983$10.853.84%
1984$11.132.57%
1985$11.503.32%
1986$12.014.46%
1987$12.332.66%
1988$12.823.92%
1989$13.354.15%
1990$13.974.68%
1991$15.4310.47%
1992$15.923.14%
1993$16.171.61%
1994$16.381.24%
1995$16.641.59%
1996$17.143.00%
1997$17.602.71%
1998$17.921.79%
1999$18.352.40%
2000$18.882.91%
2001$19.382.65%
2002$19.852.41%
2003$20.231.95%
2004$20.772.65%
2005$21.181.97%
2006$21.702.45%
2007$22.383.14%
2008$23.193.60%
2009$23.862.92%
2010$24.141.15%
2011$24.501.52%
2012$24.951.82%
2013$25.361.66%
2014$25.651.14%
2015$25.890.94%
2016$26.221.25%
2017$26.531.19%
2018$26.931.51%
2019$27.301.37%
2020$27.811.86%
2021$28.412.17%
2022$29.624.24%
2023$30.854.18%
2024$31.271.35%*

* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.
** Extended periods of 0% inflation usually indicate incomplete underlying data. This can manifest as a sharp increase in inflation later on.


Raw Consumer Price Index data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for Alcoholic beverages:

Year1952195319541955195619571958195919601961196219631964196519661967196819691970197119721973197419751976197719781979198019811982198319841985198619871988198919901991199219931994199519961997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018201920202021202220232024
CPI39.40039.72040.54040.44041.02042.08042.00042.46043.10043.24043.40043.86044.20044.70045.44046.37748.02349.70052.06254.17755.42356.80061.13165.87768.06969.96974.07779.90086.36992.50896.662100.377102.962106.385111.131114.085118.554123.477129.254142.785147.262149.631151.492153.900158.515162.815165.731169.708174.654179.285183.600187.177192.131195.923200.715207.026214.484220.751223.291226.685230.800234.623237.305239.530242.526245.419249.134252.542257.246262.829273.967285.414289.264

Adjust alcohol prices for inflation

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2024 / CPI in 1981 * 1981 USD value = 2024 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for Alcoholic beverages was 92.508 in the year 1981 and 289.264 in 2024:

289.264 / 92.508 * $10 = $31.27

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $10 in 1981 has the same "purchasing power" as $31.27 in 2024 (in the CPI category of Alcoholic beverages).


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the Consumer Price Index for Alcoholic beverages in 1952. In addition to alcohol, the index produces monthly data on changes in prices paid by urban consumers for a variety of goods and services.

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