Visual Inflation Calculator
Adjust the orange knobs to:
- Choose a dollar amount at a year in the past. (For example, roundtrip flights between New York and L.A. cost $310 in 1974. Gasoline cost 20 cents per gallon in 1930.)
- See how the buying power of that money has changed over time.
"Spending $10 in 1970 is like spending $60 in 2013."
- The calculator shows the effects of inflation only. It is useful for comparing known prices or wages, but it does not contain any product-specific data. For example, consumers in 1930 paid 20¢ for a gallon of gas, which the inflation calculator shows is equivalent to $2.30 in 2004. It turns out that the true price of gas in 2004 was $1.85. This implies that the real price of gas went down relative to other consumer products (since $1.85 is less than $2.30).
- Note that as the dollar cost goes up (due to inflation), the buying power of a dollar goes down (because you need more dollars to purchase the same set of goods).
- All calculations are based on the historical Consumer Price Index compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as reported here. You can confirm these results by using the official BLS inflation calculator.
- If you'd like this calculator to support inflation data for other countries, let me know.