Bananas priced at $3.50 in 1939 $47.20 in 2020

Bananas Inflation Calculator

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Prices for Bananas, 1939-2020 ($3.50)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for bananas were 1,248.53% higher in 2020 versus 1939 (a $43.70 difference in value).

Between 1939 and 2020: Bananas experienced an average inflation rate of 3.26% per year. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, bananas costing $3.50 in the year 1939 would cost $47.20 in 2020 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 3.67% during this same period, inflation for bananas was lower.

Price Inflation for Bananas since 1939

Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Years with the largest changes in pricing: 1942 (45.37%), 1947 (30.15%), and 1975 (25.26%).

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

Year 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
CPI 14.523 15.015 16.854 24.500 28.831 28.285 26.331 27.908 36.323 38.323 39.954 39.100 39.292 39.346 39.723 39.800 40.123 39.892 41.146 41.046 40.369 37.685 37.700 38.823 39.100 39.715 38.915 38.054 38.408 38.000 38.931 38.985 36.715 39.077 40.808 45.831 57.408 58.169 63.231 70.700 79.838 91.531 97.654 96.085 105.992 97.923 99.946 105.015 104.177 119.238 131.292 138.169 145.015 139.931 135.523 143.569 153.769 159.015 159.577 160.854 159.415 162.492 166.615 166.523 164.838 162.992 167.062 175.292 177.538 207.394 207.256 195.442 205.850 205.052 203.370 202.041 200.786 198.852 195.168 196.709 195.983 195.848

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Buying power of $3.5 since 1939

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Bananas, over time, for $3.5 beginning in 1939. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year USD Value Inflation Rate
1939 $3.50 -
1940 $3.62 3.39%
1941 $4.06 12.24%
1942 $5.90 45.37%
1943 $6.95 17.68%
1944 $6.82 -1.89%
1945 $6.35 -6.91%
1946 $6.73 5.99%
1947 $8.75 30.15%
1948 $9.24 5.51%
1949 $9.63 4.26%
1950 $9.42 -2.14%
1951 $9.47 0.49%
1952 $9.48 0.14%
1953 $9.57 0.96%
1954 $9.59 0.19%
1955 $9.67 0.81%
1956 $9.61 -0.58%
1957 $9.92 3.14%
1958 $9.89 -0.24%
1959 $9.73 -1.65%
1960 $9.08 -6.65%
1961 $9.09 0.04%
1962 $9.36 2.98%
1963 $9.42 0.71%
1964 $9.57 1.57%
1965 $9.38 -2.01%
1966 $9.17 -2.21%
1967 $9.26 0.93%
1968 $9.16 -1.06%
1969 $9.38 2.45%
1970 $9.40 0.14%
1971 $8.85 -5.82%
1972 $9.42 6.43%
1973 $9.83 4.43%
1974 $11.05 12.31%
1975 $13.84 25.26%
1976 $14.02 1.33%
1977 $15.24 8.70%
1978 $17.04 11.81%
1979 $19.24 12.93%
1980 $22.06 14.64%
1981 $23.53 6.69%
1982 $23.16 -1.61%
1983 $25.54 10.31%
1984 $23.60 -7.61%
1985 $24.09 2.07%
1986 $25.31 5.07%
1987 $25.11 -0.80%
1988 $28.74 14.46%
1989 $31.64 10.11%
1990 $33.30 5.24%
1991 $34.95 4.95%
1992 $33.72 -3.51%
1993 $32.66 -3.15%
1994 $34.60 5.94%
1995 $37.06 7.10%
1996 $38.32 3.41%
1997 $38.46 0.35%
1998 $38.77 0.80%
1999 $38.42 -0.89%
2000 $39.16 1.93%
2001 $40.15 2.54%
2002 $40.13 -0.06%
2003 $39.73 -1.01%
2004 $39.28 -1.12%
2005 $40.26 2.50%
2006 $42.24 4.93%
2007 $42.79 1.28%
2008 $49.98 16.82%
2009 $49.95 -0.07%
2010 $47.10 -5.70%
2011 $49.61 5.33%
2012 $49.42 -0.39%
2013 $49.01 -0.82%
2014 $48.69 -0.65%
2015 $48.39 -0.62%
2016 $47.92 -0.96%
2017 $47.03 -1.85%
2018 $47.41 0.79%
2019 $47.23 -0.37%
2020 $47.20 -0.07%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

How to calculate the inflation rate for bananas, 1939-2020

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2020 / CPI in 1939 * 1939 USD value = 2020 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for Bananas was 14.523 in the year 1939 and 195.848 in 2020:

195.848 / 14.523 * $3.50 = $47.20

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $3.50 in 1939 has the same "purchasing power" as $47.20 in 2020 (in the CPI category of Bananas).


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the Consumer Price Index for Bananas in 1939. In addition to bananas, the index produces monthly data on changes in prices paid by urban consumers for a variety of goods and services.

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