Food priced at $20 in 1956 $233.88 in 2024

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Prices for Food, 1956-2024 ($20)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for food are 1,069.39% higher in 2024 versus 1956 (a $213.88 difference in value).

Between 1956 and 2024: Food experienced an average inflation rate of 3.68% per year. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, food costing $20 in the year 1956 would cost $233.88 in 2024 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 3.65% during this same period, inflation for food was higher.

In the year 1956: Pricing changed by 0.75%, which is below the average yearly change for food during the 1956-2024 time period. Compared to inflation for all items in 1956 (1.52%), inflation for food was lower.

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 1956

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Food, over time, for $20 beginning in 1956. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

YearUSD ValueInflation Rate
1956$20.000.75%
1957$20.643.21%
1958$21.534.31%
1959$21.17-1.68%
1960$21.421.19%
1961$21.671.15%
1962$21.860.89%
1963$22.171.43%
1964$22.471.31%
1965$22.962.22%
1966$24.135.07%
1967$24.310.75%
1968$25.193.61%
1969$26.485.14%
1970$27.985.64%
1971$28.802.94%
1972$30.044.31%
1973$34.3814.46%
1974$39.3414.40%
1975$42.678.49%
1976$43.993.07%
1977$46.766.30%
1978$51.429.98%
1979$57.0410.91%
1980$61.938.59%
1981$66.777.82%
1982$69.484.05%
1983$70.952.11%
1984$73.683.85%
1985$75.342.27%
1986$77.753.20%
1987$80.994.17%
1988$84.344.13%
1989$89.275.84%
1990$94.475.83%
1991$97.242.93%
1992$98.411.20%
1993$100.532.15%
1994$102.972.42%
1995$105.922.87%
1996$109.403.28%
1997$112.252.60%
1998$114.682.17%
1999$117.122.13%
2000$119.772.26%
2001$123.533.14%
2002$125.761.81%
2003$128.452.13%
2004$132.873.44%
2005$136.122.44%
2006$139.302.34%
2007$144.823.97%
2008$152.815.51%
2009$155.551.80%
2010$156.750.77%
2011$162.613.74%
2012$166.852.61%
2013$169.171.39%
2014$173.232.40%
2015$176.451.86%
2016$176.950.28%
2017$178.470.86%
2018$180.961.40%
2019$184.361.88%
2020$190.713.45%
2021$198.233.94%
2022$217.959.95%
2023$230.505.76%
2024$233.881.47%*

* 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
CPI9.92310.15410.05411.27714.50816.70018.57720.97715.90014.89215.38515.23116.50017.04616.43116.24616.45415.64612.90010.72310.41511.60812.45412.56913.08512.13811.82311.98513.07715.38517.10016.87717.26219.81524.06226.08525.06225.39228.22328.72328.26928.23827.81528.02328.92330.16929.66230.01530.36230.63131.06931.47732.17733.80834.06235.29237.10839.20040.35442.09248.17755.11559.79261.63165.51572.05479.91586.77793.56297.35499.408103.231105.569108.946113.485118.177125.077132.369136.254137.892140.862144.277148.415153.285157.277160.685164.100167.815173.085176.215179.977186.177190.723195.177202.916214.106217.955219.625227.842233.777237.037242.725247.235247.931250.065253.558258.316267.219277.756305.388322.965327.700

Adjust food prices for inflation

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2024 / CPI in 1956 * 1956 USD value = 2024 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for Food was 28.023 in the year 1956 and 327.700 in 2024:

327.700 / 28.023 * $20 = $233.88

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $20 in 1956 has the same "purchasing power" as $233.88 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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