Cell service priced at $50 in 1999 $28.16 in 2022

Cell Service Inflation Calculator

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Prices for Cell Service, 1999-2022 ($50)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for wireless telephone services are 43.68% lower in 2022 versus 1999 (a $21.84 difference in value).

Between 1999 and 2022: Cell service experienced an average inflation rate of -2.47% per year. This rate of change indicates significant deflation. In other words, cell service costing $50 in the year 1999 would cost $28.16 in 2022 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.44% during this same period, inflation for cell service was significantly lower.

In the year 1999: Pricing changed by -10.71%, which is significantly below the average yearly change for cell service during the 1999-2022 time period. Compared to inflation for all items in 1999 (2.19%), inflation for cell service was much lower.

Price Inflation for Wireless telephone services since 1997

Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Years with the largest changes in pricing: 1999 (-10.71%), 2017 (-10.68%), and 2000 (-10.54%).

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Buying power of $50.00 since 1999

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Cell service, over time, for $50 beginning in 1999. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

YearUSD ValueInflation Rate
1999$50.00-10.71%
2000$44.73-10.54%
2001$40.11-10.34%
2002$39.66-1.11%
2003$39.34-0.82%
2004$38.98-0.91%
2005$38.25-1.87%
2006$38.00-0.65%
2007$37.90-0.26%
2008$37.82-0.22%
2009$37.830.03%
2010$36.73-2.90%
2011$35.41-3.60%
2012$35.13-0.78%
2013$34.51-1.78%
2014$33.78-2.11%
2015$32.50-3.77%
2016$32.19-0.97%
2017$28.75-10.68%
2018$28.02-2.55%
2019$27.31-2.53%
2020$27.862.02%
2021$28.351.75%
2022$28.16-0.67%*

* 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 Wireless telephone services:

Year19971998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016201720182019202020212022
CPI100.00095.12384.93875.98568.13167.37766.82366.21564.97764.55464.38364.24064.25762.39560.14759.67858.61757.37855.21654.67948.84047.59646.39347.32948.15647.835

Adjust cell service prices for inflation

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2022 / CPI in 1999 * 1999 USD value = 2022 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for Wireless telephone services was 84.938 in the year 1999 and 47.835 in 2022:

47.835 / 84.938 * $50 = $28.16

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $50 in 1999 has the same "purchasing power" as $28.16 in 2022 (in the CPI category of Wireless telephone services).


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

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