# \$20 in 1991 → \$37.88 in 2020

## Inflation Calculator

\$

### U.S. Inflation Rate, \$20 from 1991 to 2020

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today's prices in 2020 are 89.41% higher than average prices since 1991. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.23% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

In other words, \$20 in 1991 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$37.88 in 2020, a difference of \$17.88 over 29 years.

The 1991 inflation rate was 4.21%. The current inflation rate (2019 to 2020) is now 2.49%1. If this number holds, \$20 today will be equivalent in buying power to \$20.50 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.

 Cumulative price change 89.41% Average inflation rate 2.23% Converted amount (\$20 base) \$37.88 Price difference (\$20 base) \$17.88 CPI in 1991 136.200 CPI in 2020 257.971 Inflation in 1991 4.21% Inflation in 2020 2.49%

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

### Buying power of \$20 in 1991

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$20 in 1991 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$20, you would need to end with \$37.88 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When \$20 is equivalent to \$37.88 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 1991 dollars, the chart below shows how \$20 buys less over the past 29 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
1991 \$20.00 4.21%
1992 \$20.60 3.01%
1993 \$21.22 2.99%
1994 \$21.76 2.56%
1995 \$22.38 2.83%
1996 \$23.04 2.95%
1997 \$23.57 2.29%
1998 \$23.94 1.56%
1999 \$24.46 2.21%
2000 \$25.29 3.36%
2001 \$26.01 2.85%
2002 \$26.42 1.58%
2003 \$27.02 2.28%
2004 \$27.74 2.66%
2005 \$28.68 3.39%
2006 \$29.60 3.23%
2007 \$30.45 2.85%
2008 \$31.62 3.84%
2009 \$31.50 -0.36%
2010 \$32.02 1.64%
2011 \$33.03 3.16%
2012 \$33.71 2.07%
2013 \$34.21 1.46%
2014 \$34.76 1.62%
2015 \$34.80 0.12%
2016 \$35.24 1.26%
2017 \$35.99 2.13%
2018 \$36.89 2.49%
2019 \$37.54 1.76%
2020 \$37.88 0.90%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.
Click to show 23 more rows

### Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1991 to 2020 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of \$20):

San Diego, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 29 years between 1991 and 2020 (3.47%).

St Louis, Missouri experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 29 years between 1991 and 2020 (2.01%).

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 £20.00 in 1991 would be equivalent to £43.22 in 2020, an absolute change of £23.22 and a cumulative change of 116.11%.

In Canada, CA\$20.00 in 1991 would be equivalent to CA\$32.91 in 2020, an absolute change of CA\$12.91 and a cumulative change of 64.54%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$17.88 and total percent change of 89.41%.

### 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 1991 and 2020.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.23% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$20 in 1991 → 2020
Food and beverages 2.24 90.34 38.07
Housing 2.45 101.94 40.39
Apparel -0.22 -6.10 18.78
Transportation 1.81 68.20 33.64
Medical care 3.73 189.00 57.80
Recreation 1.10 37.45 27.49
Education and communication 1.81 68.45 33.69
Other goods and services 3.45 167.08 53.42

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 1991. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

### How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$20 since 1991

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2020CPI in 1991
×
1991 USD value
=
2020 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 136.2 in the year 1991 and 257.971 in 2020:

257.971136.2
×
\$20
=
\$37.88

\$20 in 1991 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$37.88 in 2020.

To get the total inflation rate for the 29 years between 1991 and 2020, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2020 - CPI in 1991CPI in 1991
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (29 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

257.971 - 136.2136.2
×
100
=
89%

### 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 2.19% per year between 1991 and 2020 (vs all-CPI inflation of 2.23%), for an inflation total of 87.18%.

When using the core inflation measurement, \$20 in 1991 is equivalent in buying power to \$37.44 in 2020, a difference of \$17.44. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is \$37.88 with a difference of \$17.88.

In 1991, core inflation was 4.91%.

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

• The IRA launch a bomb attack on Downing Street, during a cabinet meeting.
• America liberates Kuwait signalling the end of the first Gulf War.
• Tim Berners-Lee releases files that describe the idea of the World Wide Web.
• Pablo Escobar, a Colombian drug lord, surrenders to the police.
• Boris Yeltsin becomes the first elected president of Russia.

### 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: “\$20 in 1991 → 2020 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 16 Feb. 2020, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1991?amount=20.