$2,000 in 1961 → $17,255.59 in 2020

Inflation Calculator

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U.S. Inflation Rate, $2,000 from 1961 to 2020

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today's prices in 2020 are 762.78% higher than average prices since 1961. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.72% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, $2,000 in 1961 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $17,255.59 in 2020, a difference of $15,255.59 over 59 years.

The 1961 inflation rate was 1.01%. The current inflation rate (2019 to 2020) is now 2.49%1. If this number holds, $2,000 today will be equivalent in buying power to $2,049.73 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.


Inflation from 1961 to 2020
Cumulative price change 762.78%
Average inflation rate 3.72%
Converted amount ($2,000 base) $17,255.59
Price difference ($2,000 base) $15,255.59
CPI in 1961 29.900
CPI in 2020 257.971
Inflation in 1961 1.01%
Inflation in 2020 2.49%

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
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Buying power of $2,000 in 1961

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $2,000 in 1961 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $2,000, you would need to end with $17,255.59 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $2,000 is equivalent to $17,255.59 over time, that means that the "real value" of a single U.S. dollar decreases over time. In other words, a dollar will pay for fewer items at the store.

This effect explains how inflation erodes the value of a dollar over time. By calculating the value in 1961 dollars, the chart below shows how $2,000 buys less over the past 59 years.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, each of these USD amounts below is equal in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1961 $2,000.00 1.01%
1962 $2,020.07 1.00%
1963 $2,046.82 1.32%
1964 $2,073.58 1.31%
1965 $2,107.02 1.61%
1966 $2,167.22 2.86%
1967 $2,234.11 3.09%
1968 $2,327.76 4.19%
1969 $2,454.85 5.46%
1970 $2,595.32 5.72%
1971 $2,709.03 4.38%
1972 $2,795.99 3.21%
1973 $2,969.90 6.22%
1974 $3,297.66 11.04%
1975 $3,598.66 9.13%
1976 $3,806.02 5.76%
1977 $4,053.51 6.50%
1978 $4,361.20 7.59%
1979 $4,856.19 11.35%
1980 $5,511.71 13.50%
1981 $6,080.27 10.32%
1982 $6,454.85 6.16%
1983 $6,662.21 3.21%
1984 $6,949.83 4.32%
1985 $7,197.32 3.56%
1986 $7,331.10 1.86%
1987 $7,598.66 3.65%
1988 $7,913.04 4.14%
1989 $8,294.31 4.82%
1990 $8,742.47 5.40%
1991 $9,110.37 4.21%
1992 $9,384.62 3.01%
1993 $9,665.55 2.99%
1994 $9,913.04 2.56%
1995 $10,193.98 2.83%
1996 $10,494.98 2.95%
1997 $10,735.79 2.29%
1998 $10,903.01 1.56%
1999 $11,143.81 2.21%
2000 $11,518.39 3.36%
2001 $11,846.15 2.85%
2002 $12,033.44 1.58%
2003 $12,307.69 2.28%
2004 $12,635.45 2.66%
2005 $13,063.55 3.39%
2006 $13,484.95 3.23%
2007 $13,869.03 2.85%
2008 $14,401.54 3.84%
2009 $14,350.30 -0.36%
2010 $14,585.69 1.64%
2011 $15,046.09 3.16%
2012 $15,357.46 2.07%
2013 $15,582.41 1.46%
2014 $15,835.18 1.62%
2015 $15,853.98 0.12%
2016 $16,053.98 1.26%
2017 $16,395.99 2.13%
2018 $16,804.68 2.49%
2019 $17,100.84 1.76%
2020 $17,255.59 0.90%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 53 more rows

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1961 to 2020 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $2,000):

  • San Francisco, California: 4.09% average rate, $2,000 → $20,405.79, cumulative change of 920.29%
  • Seattle, Washington: 3.96% average rate, $2,000 → $18,980.63, cumulative change of 849.03%
  • Boston, Massachusetts: 3.88% average rate, $2,000 → $18,917.48, cumulative change of 845.87%
  • New York: 3.84% average rate, $2,000 → $18,518.41, cumulative change of 825.92%
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 3.71% average rate, $2,000 → $16,582.80, cumulative change of 729.14%
  • Houston, Texas: 3.69% average rate, $2,000 → $16,383.24, cumulative change of 719.16%
  • Atlanta, Georgia: 3.69% average rate, $2,000 → $16,352.72, cumulative change of 717.64%
  • Detroit, Michigan: 3.63% average rate, $2,000 → $15,777.63, cumulative change of 688.88%
  • Chicago, Illinois: 3.59% average rate, $2,000 → $16,014.92, cumulative change of 700.75%

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 59 years between 1961 and 2020 (4.09%).

Chicago, Illinois experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 59 years between 1961 and 2020 (3.59%).

Note that some locations showing 0% inflation may have not yet reported latest data.


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £2,000.00 in 1961 would be equivalent to £44,812.73 in 2020, an absolute change of £42,812.73 and a cumulative change of 2,140.64%.

In Canada, CA$2,000.00 in 1961 would be equivalent to CA$17,375.80 in 2020, an absolute change of CA$15,375.80 and a cumulative change of 768.79%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $15,255.59 and total percent change of 762.78%.


Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1961 and 2020.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.72% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $2,000 in 1961 → 2020
Food and beverages 3.86 833.72 18,674.43
Housing 4.18 1,020.22 22,404.39
Apparel 1.65 162.37 5,247.46
Transportation 3.33 591.44 13,828.87
Medical care 5.41 2,133.16 44,663.14
Recreation 1.10 91.00 3,820.07
Education and communication 1.81 188.89 5,777.82
Other goods and services 4.97 1,648.37 34,967.40

The graph below compares inflation in categories of goods over time. Click on a category such as "Food" to toggle it on or off:

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 1961. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $2,000 since 1961

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2020CPI in 1961
×
1961 USD value
=
2020 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 29.9 in the year 1961 and 257.971 in 2020:

257.97129.9
×
$2,000
=
$17,255.59

$2,000 in 1961 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $17,255.59 in 2020.

To get the total inflation rate for the 59 years between 1961 and 2020, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2020 - CPI in 1961CPI in 1961
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (59 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

257.971 - 29.929.9
×
100
=
763%

Alternate Measurements of Inflation

The above data describe the CPI for all items. Also of note is the Core CPI, which measures inflation for all items except for the more volatile categories of food and energy. Core inflation averaged 3.71% per year between 1961 and 2020 (vs all-CPI inflation of 3.72%), for an inflation total of 758.50%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $2,000 in 1961 is equivalent in buying power to $17,170.07 in 2020, a difference of $15,170.07. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $17,255.59 with a difference of $15,255.59.

In 1961, core inflation was 1.13%.


News headlines from 1961

Politics and news often influence economic performance. Here's what was happening at the time:

  • A dog named Chernushka, frogs, and a guinea pig orbit the Earth in the Soviet flight Sputnik 9.
  • Nelson Mandela is acquitted of treason after a four-and-a-half year trial.

Data Source & Citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (CPI), established in 1913. Inflation data from 1665 to 1912 is sourced from a historical study conducted by political science professor Robert Sahr at Oregon State University.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “$2,000 in 1961 → 2020 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 27 Feb. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1961?amount=2000.

Special thanks to QuickChart for providing downloadable chart images.

in2013dollars.com is a reference website maintained by the Official Data Foundation.


Ian Webster

About the author

Ian Webster is an engineer and data expert based in San Mateo, California. He has worked for Google, NASA, and consulted for governments around the world on data pipelines and data analysis. Disappointed by the lack of clear resources on the impacts of inflation on economic indicators, Ian believes this website serves as a valuable public tool. Ian earned his degree in Computer Science from Dartmouth College.

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Inflation from 1961 to 2020
Cumulative price change 762.78%
Average inflation rate 3.72%
Converted amount ($2,000 base) $17,255.59
Price difference ($2,000 base) $15,255.59
CPI in 1961 29.900
CPI in 2020 257.971
Inflation in 1961 1.01%
Inflation in 2020 2.49%