Photography priced at $20 in 1997 $15.02 in 2020

Photography Inflation Calculator

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Prices for Photography, 1997-2020 ($20)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for photography were 24.88% lower in 2020 versus 1997 (a $4.98 difference in value).

Between 1997 and 2020: Photography experienced an average inflation rate of -1.24% per year. In other words, photography costing $20 in the year 1997 would cost $15.02 in 2020 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.08% during this same period, inflation for photography was significantly lower.

Price Inflation for Photography since 1997

Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Years with the largest changes in pricing: 2007 (-5.14%), 2006 (-3.68%), and 2004 (-3.19%).

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

Year 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 100.000 100.015 99.431 99.192 99.008 97.892 95.962 92.900 90.400 87.069 82.590 80.834 81.004 79.553 79.542 79.120 77.257 77.374 75.226 75.233 75.969 74.194 73.535 75.120

View price changes for other categories
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Buying power of $20 since 1997

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Photography, over time, for $20 beginning in 1997. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year USD Value Inflation Rate
1997 $20.00 -
1998 $20.00 0.02%
1999 $19.89 -0.58%
2000 $19.84 -0.24%
2001 $19.80 -0.19%
2002 $19.58 -1.13%
2003 $19.19 -1.97%
2004 $18.58 -3.19%
2005 $18.08 -2.69%
2006 $17.41 -3.68%
2007 $16.52 -5.14%
2008 $16.17 -2.13%
2009 $16.20 0.21%
2010 $15.91 -1.79%
2011 $15.91 -0.01%
2012 $15.82 -0.53%
2013 $15.45 -2.35%
2014 $15.47 0.15%
2015 $15.05 -2.78%
2016 $15.05 0.01%
2017 $15.19 0.98%
2018 $14.84 -2.34%
2019 $14.71 -0.89%
2020 $15.02 2.16%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

How to calculate the inflation rate for photography, 1997-2020

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2020 / CPI in 1997 * 1997 USD value = 2020 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for Photography was 100.000 in the year 1997 and 75.120 in 2020:

75.120 / 100.000 * $20 = $15.02

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $20 in 1997 has the same "purchasing power" as $15.02 in 2020 (in the CPI category of Photography).


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the Consumer Price Index for Photography in 1997. In addition to photography, the index produces monthly data on changes in prices paid by urban consumers for a variety of goods and services.

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