Food away from home priced at $20 in 1985 $55.46 in 2021

Food Away From Home Inflation Calculator

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Prices for Food Away From Home, 1985-2021 ($20)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for food away from home were 177.30% higher in 2021 versus 1985 (a $35.46 difference in value).

Between 1985 and 2021: Food away from home experienced an average inflation rate of 2.87% per year. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, food away from home costing $20 in the year 1985 would cost $55.46 in 2021 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.50% during this same period, inflation for food away from home was higher.

In the year 1985: Pricing changed by 3.95%, which is above the average yearly change for food away from home during the 1985-2021 time period. Compared to inflation for all items in 1985 (3.55%), inflation for food away from home was higher.

Price Inflation for Food away from home since 1953

Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Years with the largest changes in pricing: 1974 (12.76%), 1979 (11.16%), and 1980 (9.93%).

Raw Consumer Price Index data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for Food away from home:

Year 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 2021
CPI 21.531 21.900 22.131 22.562 23.431 24.108 24.792 25.446 26.000 26.715 27.308 27.777 28.400 29.700 31.231 32.862 34.877 37.477 39.408 40.985 44.185 49.823 54.485 58.169 62.577 68.277 75.900 83.438 90.938 95.800 99.985 104.208 108.323 112.554 117.031 121.769 127.392 133.408 137.915 140.700 143.223 145.654 148.962 152.662 157.008 161.069 165.100 168.985 173.854 178.292 182.100 187.508 193.415 199.385 206.659 215.769 223.272 226.114 231.401 237.986 243.068 248.981 256.101 262.695 268.826 275.893 284.410 293.944 300.382

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Buying power of $20 since 1985

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Food away from home, over time, for $20 beginning in 1985. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year USD Value Inflation Rate
1985 $20.00 3.95%
1986 $20.78 3.91%
1987 $21.61 3.98%
1988 $22.48 4.05%
1989 $23.52 4.62%
1990 $24.63 4.72%
1991 $25.46 3.38%
1992 $25.98 2.02%
1993 $26.44 1.79%
1994 $26.89 1.70%
1995 $27.50 2.27%
1996 $28.19 2.48%
1997 $28.99 2.85%
1998 $29.74 2.59%
1999 $30.48 2.50%
2000 $31.20 2.35%
2001 $32.10 2.88%
2002 $32.92 2.55%
2003 $33.62 2.14%
2004 $34.62 2.97%
2005 $35.71 3.15%
2006 $36.81 3.09%
2007 $38.16 3.65%
2008 $39.84 4.41%
2009 $41.22 3.48%
2010 $41.75 1.27%
2011 $42.72 2.34%
2012 $43.94 2.85%
2013 $44.88 2.14%
2014 $45.97 2.43%
2015 $47.28 2.86%
2016 $48.50 2.58%
2017 $49.63 2.33%
2018 $50.94 2.63%
2019 $52.51 3.09%
2020 $54.27 3.35%
2021 $55.46 2.19%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

How to calculate the inflation rate for food away from home, 1985-2021

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2021 / CPI in 1985 * 1985 USD value = 2021 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for Food away from home was 108.323 in the year 1985 and 300.382 in 2021:

300.382 / 108.323 * $20 = $55.46

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $20 in 1985 has the same "purchasing power" as $55.46 in 2021 (in the CPI category of Food away from home).


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the Consumer Price Index for Food away from home in 1953. In addition to food away from home, the index produces monthly data on changes in prices paid by urban consumers for a variety of goods and services.

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