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Inflation Calculator

What’s a dollar worth?

Find out here. Use the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the average change in prices over time using a market basket of goods and services, to see how far your dollar goes today, compared with previous years.

What is a dollar worth?

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases CPI data monthly, as well as the following historical indexes:

You can also use the inflation calculator app

  • Download “What is a Dollar Worth” in the iTunes store. The free app will work on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

Here’s how you can use the CPI to make calculations. For example, what would an item or service purchased in 2021 be worth in 1950 dollars?

Let’s say you have $7 in your pocket to purchase some goods and services today. How much money would you have needed in 1950 to buy the same amount of goods and services?

The CPI for 1950 = 24.1

The CPI for 2021 = 263.7*

Use the following formula to compute the calculation:

1950 price = 2021 price x (1950 CPI / 2021 CPI*)

$0.64 = $7.00 x (24.1 / 263.7)

Going the other way, what would an item or service purchased in 1950, for example, be worth in 2021 dollars?

Let's say your parents told you that in 1950 a movie cost 25 cents. How could you tell if movies have increased in price faster or slower than most goods and services? To convert that price into today’s dollars, use the CPI.

The CPI for 1950 = 24.1

The CPI for 2021 = 263.7*

A movie in 1950 = $0.25

Use the following formula to compute the calculation:

2021 price = 1950 price x (2021 CPI* / 1950 CPI)

$2.74 = $0.25 x (263.7 / 24.1)

A full-price movie at a Minneapolis theater these days is likely to cost between $7.00 and $11.00, or even more. It looks like movies have increased in price faster than most other goods and services.

*An estimate for 2021 is based on the change in the CPI from first quarter 2020 to first quarter 2021.