Cell service priced at $50 in 2011 $38.56 in 2019

Cell Service Inflation Calculator

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Prices for Cell Service, 2011-2019 ($50)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for wireless telephone services were 22.87% lower in 2019 versus 2011 (a $11.44 difference in value).

Between 2011 and 2019: Cell service experienced an average inflation rate of -3.19% per year. This rate of change indicates significant deflation. In other words, cell service costing $50 in the year 2011 would cost $38.56 in 2019 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 1.61% during this same period, inflation for cell service was significantly lower.

In the year 2011: Pricing changed by -3.60%, which is below the average yearly change for cell service during the 2011-2019 time period. Compared to inflation for all items in 2011 (3.16%), 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%).

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

Year 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
CPI 100.000 95.123 84.938 75.985 68.131 67.377 66.823 66.215 64.977 64.554 64.383 64.240 64.257 62.395 60.147 59.678 58.617 57.378 55.216 54.679 48.840 47.596 46.391

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Buying power of $50 since 2011

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Cell service, over time, for $50 beginning in 2011. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year USD Value Inflation Rate
2011 $50.00 -3.60%
2012 $49.61 -0.78%
2013 $48.73 -1.78%
2014 $47.70 -2.11%
2015 $45.90 -3.77%
2016 $45.45 -0.97%
2017 $40.60 -10.68%
2018 $39.57 -2.55%
2019 $38.56 -2.53%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

How to calculate the inflation rate for cell service, 2011-2019

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2019 / CPI in 2011 * 2011 USD value = 2019 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for Wireless telephone services was 60.147 in the year 2011 and 46.391 in 2019:

46.391 / 60.147 * $50 = $38.56

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $50 in 2011 has the same "purchasing power" as $38.56 in 2019 (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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