Apparel priced at $20 in 1981 $26.86 in 2024

Apparel Inflation Calculator

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Prices for Apparel, 1981-2024 ($20)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for apparel are 34.29% higher in 2024 versus 1981 (a $6.86 difference in value).

Between 1981 and 2024: Apparel experienced an average inflation rate of 0.69% per year. In other words, apparel costing $20 in the year 1981 would cost $26.86 in 2024 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.88% during this same period, inflation for apparel was lower.

In the year 1981: Pricing changed by 4.77%, which is significantly above the average yearly change for apparel during the 1981-2024 time period. Compared to inflation for all items in 1981 (10.33%), inflation for apparel was much lower.

Price Inflation for Apparel since 1913

Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Years with the largest changes in pricing: 1918 (39.39%), 1919 (27.69%), and 1921 (-26.11%).

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Buying power of $20.00 since 1981

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Apparel, over time, for $20 beginning in 1981. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

YearUSD ValueInflation Rate
1981$20.004.77%
1982$20.522.62%
1983$21.032.47%
1984$21.421.84%
1985$22.052.92%
1986$22.230.85%
1987$23.214.40%
1988$24.224.34%
1989$24.892.78%
1990$26.054.64%
1991$27.023.73%
1992$27.682.46%
1993$28.061.35%
1994$28.00-0.20%
1995$27.70-1.08%
1996$27.65-0.20%
1997$27.890.88%
1998$27.920.13%
1999$27.56-1.30%
2000$27.20-1.31%
2001$26.72-1.78%
2002$26.03-2.55%
2003$25.37-2.54%
2004$25.28-0.37%
2005$25.09-0.74%
2006$25.08-0.07%
2007$24.98-0.38%
2008$24.96-0.08%
2009$25.210.98%
2010$25.09-0.48%
2011$25.632.18%
2012$26.503.40%
2013$26.750.91%
2014$26.770.08%
2015$26.43-1.26%
2016$26.460.11%
2017$26.37-0.34%
2018$26.380.03%
2019$26.04-1.28%
2020$24.79-4.81%
2021$25.402.47%
2022$26.685.03%
2023$27.412.75%
2024$26.86-2.02%*

* 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 Apparel:

Year1913191419151916191719181919192019211922192319241925192619271928192919301931193219331934193519361937193819391940194119421943194419451946194719481949195019511952195319541955195619571958195919601961196219631964196519661967196819691970197119721973197419751976197719781979198019811982198319841985198619871988198919901991199219931994199519961997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018201920202021202220232024
CPI14.90015.00015.45017.35021.20029.55037.73342.80031.62526.86027.10026.76026.30025.83325.26724.96724.66724.06721.60019.20019.06720.66720.80021.03322.14021.86021.62021.81422.81526.70027.85429.80831.34634.39239.86242.50840.83140.28543.92343.45443.16943.02342.88543.74644.50044.66945.02345.70046.06246.31546.88547.28547.73849.01551.01553.73856.83159.17761.09262.35464.63869.43172.52375.23878.60881.36984.93190.93895.27797.777100.192102.038105.023105.915110.577115.377118.585124.085128.708131.877133.662133.400131.962131.700132.854133.023131.292129.577127.269124.023120.877120.431119.538119.454118.998118.907120.078119.503122.111126.265127.411127.514125.903126.045125.612125.654124.052118.079120.993127.081130.579127.946

Adjust apparel 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 Apparel was 95.277 in the year 1981 and 127.946 in 2024:

127.946 / 95.277 * $20 = $26.86

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $20 in 1981 has the same "purchasing power" as $26.86 in 2024 (in the CPI category of Apparel).


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the Consumer Price Index for Apparel in 1913. In addition to apparel, the index produces monthly data on changes in prices paid by urban consumers for a variety of goods and services.

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