Cell service priced at $50 in 2003 $35.82 in 2022

Cell Service Inflation Calculator

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Prices for Cell Service, 2003-2022 ($50)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for wireless telephone services are 28.35% lower in 2022 versus 2003 (a $14.18 difference in value).

Between 2003 and 2022: Cell service experienced an average inflation rate of -1.74% per year. In other words, cell service costing $50 in the year 2003 would cost $35.82 in 2022 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.39% during this same period, inflation for cell service was significantly lower.

In the year 2003: Pricing changed by -0.82%, which is above the average yearly change for cell service during the 2003-2022 time period. Compared to inflation for all items in 2003 (2.27%), 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 2003

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Cell service, over time, for $50 beginning in 2003. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

YearUSD ValueInflation Rate
2003$50.00-0.82%
2004$49.55-0.91%
2005$48.62-1.87%
2006$48.30-0.65%
2007$48.17-0.26%
2008$48.07-0.22%
2009$48.080.03%
2010$46.69-2.90%
2011$45.00-3.60%
2012$44.65-0.78%
2013$43.86-1.78%
2014$42.93-2.11%
2015$41.31-3.77%
2016$40.91-0.97%
2017$36.54-10.68%
2018$35.61-2.55%
2019$34.71-2.53%
2020$35.412.02%
2021$36.031.75%
2022$35.82-0.58%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

Raw Consumer Price Index data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for Wireless telephone services:

Year19971998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016201720182019202020212022
CPI100.00095.12384.93875.98568.13167.37766.82366.21564.97764.55464.38364.24064.25762.39560.14759.67858.61757.37855.21654.67948.84047.59646.39347.32948.15647.879

Adjust cell service prices for inflation

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2022 / CPI in 2003 * 2003 USD value = 2022 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for Wireless telephone services was 66.823 in the year 2003 and 47.879 in 2022:

47.879 / 66.823 * $50 = $35.82

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $50 in 2003 has the same "purchasing power" as $35.82 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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