Food priced at $20 in 1948 $251.45 in 2024

Food Inflation Calculator

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Prices for Food, 1948-2024 ($20)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for food are 1,157.23% higher in 2024 versus 1948 (a $231.45 difference in value).

Between 1948 and 2024: Food experienced an average inflation rate of 3.39% per year. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, food costing $20 in the year 1948 would cost $251.45 in 2024 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 3.43% during this same period, inflation for food was lower.

In the year 1948: Pricing changed by 8.41%, which is significantly above the average yearly change for food during the 1948-2024 time period. Compared to inflation for all items in 1948 (7.72%), inflation for food was higher.

Price Inflation for Food since 1913

Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Years with the largest changes in pricing: 1917 (28.65%), 1921 (-24.20%), and 1947 (21.43%).

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Buying power of $20.00 since 1948

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Food, over time, for $20 beginning in 1948. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

YearUSD ValueInflation Rate
1948$20.008.41%
1949$19.22-3.92%
1950$19.471.32%
1951$21.6411.15%
1952$22.021.77%
1953$21.68-1.58%
1954$21.65-0.11%
1955$21.33-1.50%
1956$21.490.75%
1957$22.183.21%
1958$23.134.31%
1959$22.74-1.68%
1960$23.011.19%
1961$23.281.15%
1962$23.490.89%
1963$23.821.43%
1964$24.131.31%
1965$24.672.22%
1966$25.925.07%
1967$26.120.75%
1968$27.063.61%
1969$28.455.14%
1970$30.065.64%
1971$30.942.94%
1972$32.274.31%
1973$36.9414.46%
1974$42.2614.40%
1975$45.848.49%
1976$47.253.07%
1977$50.236.30%
1978$55.259.98%
1979$61.2710.91%
1980$66.538.59%
1981$71.747.82%
1982$74.644.05%
1983$76.222.11%
1984$79.153.85%
1985$80.942.27%
1986$83.533.20%
1987$87.014.17%
1988$90.614.13%
1989$95.905.84%
1990$101.495.83%
1991$104.472.93%
1992$105.731.20%
1993$108.002.15%
1994$110.622.42%
1995$113.802.87%
1996$117.533.28%
1997$120.592.60%
1998$123.202.17%
1999$125.822.13%
2000$128.672.26%
2001$132.713.14%
2002$135.111.81%
2003$137.992.13%
2004$142.753.44%
2005$146.232.44%
2006$149.652.34%
2007$155.583.97%
2008$164.165.51%
2009$167.111.80%
2010$168.390.77%
2011$174.693.74%
2012$179.252.61%
2013$181.741.39%
2014$186.112.40%
2015$189.561.86%
2016$190.100.28%
2017$191.730.86%
2018$194.411.40%
2019$198.061.88%
2020$204.893.45%
2021$212.973.94%
2022$234.159.95%
2023$247.635.76%
2024$251.451.54%*

* 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 Food:

Year1913191419151916191719181919192019211922192319241925192619271928192919301931193219331934193519361937193819391940194119421943194419451946194719481949195019511952195319541955195619571958195919601961196219631964196519661967196819691970197119721973197419751976197719781979198019811982198319841985198619871988198919901991199219931994199519961997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018201920202021202220232024
CPI9.92310.15410.05411.27714.50816.70018.57720.97715.90014.89215.38515.23116.50017.04616.43116.24616.45415.64612.90010.72310.41511.60812.45412.56913.08512.13811.82311.98513.07715.38517.10016.87717.26219.81524.06226.08525.06225.39228.22328.72328.26928.23827.81528.02328.92330.16929.66230.01530.36230.63131.06931.47732.17733.80834.06235.29237.10839.20040.35442.09248.17755.11559.79261.63165.51572.05479.91586.77793.56297.35499.408103.231105.569108.946113.485118.177125.077132.369136.254137.892140.862144.277148.415153.285157.277160.685164.100167.815173.085176.215179.977186.177190.723195.177202.916214.106217.955219.625227.842233.777237.037242.725247.235247.931250.065253.558258.316267.219277.756305.388322.965327.945

Adjust food prices for inflation

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2024 / CPI in 1948 * 1948 USD value = 2024 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for Food was 26.085 in the year 1948 and 327.945 in 2024:

327.945 / 26.085 * $20 = $251.45

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $20 in 1948 has the same "purchasing power" as $251.45 in 2024 (in the CPI category of Food).


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

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