$3,000 in 1920 → $36,001.05 in 2016

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U.S. Inflation Rate, $3,000 in 1920 to 2016

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2016 are 1,100.04% higher than prices in 1920. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.62% per year during this period.

In other words, $3,000 in 1920 is equivalent in purchasing power to $36,001.05 in 2016, a difference of $33,001.05 over 96 years.

The 1920 inflation rate was 15.61%. The inflation rate in 2016 was 1.26%. The 2016 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.47% per year between 2016 and 2018.


Inflation from 1920 to 2016
Cumulative price change 1100.04%
Average inflation rate 2.62%
Converted amount ($3,000 base) $36,001.05
Price difference ($3,000 base) $33,001.05
CPI in 1920 20
CPI in 2016 240.007
Inflation in 1920 15.61%
Inflation in 2016 1.26%


U.S. Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

Buying power of $3,000 since 1920

This chart shows calculations of buying power equivalence over time for $3,000 in 1920 (price index tracking began in 1635).

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 USD Value Inflation Rate
1920 $3,000.00 15.61%
1921 $2,685.00 -10.50%
1922 $2,520.00 -6.15%
1923 $2,565.00 1.79%
1924 $2,565.00 0.00%
1925 $2,625.00 2.34%
1926 $2,655.00 1.14%
1927 $2,610.00 -1.69%
1928 $2,565.00 -1.72%
1929 $2,565.00 0.00%
1930 $2,505.00 -2.34%
1931 $2,280.00 -8.98%
1932 $2,055.00 -9.87%
1933 $1,950.00 -5.11%
1934 $2,010.00 3.08%
1935 $2,055.00 2.24%
1936 $2,085.00 1.46%
1937 $2,160.00 3.60%
1938 $2,115.00 -2.08%
1939 $2,085.00 -1.42%
1940 $2,100.00 0.72%
1941 $2,205.00 5.00%
1942 $2,445.00 10.88%
1943 $2,595.00 6.13%
1944 $2,640.00 1.73%
1945 $2,700.00 2.27%
1946 $2,925.00 8.33%
1947 $3,345.00 14.36%
1948 $3,615.00 8.07%
1949 $3,570.00 -1.24%
1950 $3,615.00 1.26%
1951 $3,900.00 7.88%
1952 $3,975.00 1.92%
1953 $4,005.00 0.75%
1954 $4,035.00 0.75%
1955 $4,020.00 -0.37%
1956 $4,080.00 1.49%
1957 $4,215.00 3.31%
1958 $4,335.00 2.85%
1959 $4,365.00 0.69%
1960 $4,440.00 1.72%
1961 $4,485.00 1.01%
1962 $4,530.00 1.00%
1963 $4,590.00 1.32%
1964 $4,650.00 1.31%
1965 $4,725.00 1.61%
1966 $4,860.00 2.86%
1967 $5,010.00 3.09%
1968 $5,220.00 4.19%
1969 $5,505.00 5.46%
1970 $5,820.00 5.72%
1971 $6,075.00 4.38%
1972 $6,270.00 3.21%
1973 $6,660.00 6.22%
1974 $7,395.00 11.04%
1975 $8,070.00 9.13%
1976 $8,535.00 5.76%
1977 $9,090.00 6.50%
1978 $9,780.00 7.59%
1979 $10,890.00 11.35%
1980 $12,360.00 13.50%
1981 $13,635.00 10.32%
1982 $14,475.00 6.16%
1983 $14,940.00 3.21%
1984 $15,585.00 4.32%
1985 $16,140.00 3.56%
1986 $16,440.00 1.86%
1987 $17,040.00 3.65%
1988 $17,745.00 4.14%
1989 $18,600.00 4.82%
1990 $19,605.00 5.40%
1991 $20,430.00 4.21%
1992 $21,045.00 3.01%
1993 $21,675.00 2.99%
1994 $22,230.00 2.56%
1995 $22,860.00 2.83%
1996 $23,535.00 2.95%
1997 $24,075.00 2.29%
1998 $24,450.00 1.56%
1999 $24,990.00 2.21%
2000 $25,830.00 3.36%
2001 $26,565.00 2.85%
2002 $26,985.00 1.58%
2003 $27,600.00 2.28%
2004 $28,335.00 2.66%
2005 $29,295.00 3.39%
2006 $30,240.00 3.23%
2007 $31,101.30 2.85%
2008 $32,295.45 3.84%
2009 $32,180.55 -0.36%
2010 $32,708.40 1.64%
2011 $33,740.85 3.16%
2012 $34,439.10 2.07%
2013 $34,943.55 1.46%
2014 $35,510.40 1.62%
2015 $35,552.55 0.12%
2016 $36,001.05 1.26%
2017 $36,768.00 2.13%
2018 $37,800.90 2.81%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1920 to 2016 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $3,000):

  • San Francisco, California: 2.91% average rate, $3,000 → $47,179.83, cumulative change of 1,472.66%
  • Seattle, Washington: 2.75% average rate, $3,000 → $40,484.93, cumulative change of 1,249.50%
  • New York: 2.72% average rate, $3,000 → $39,275.63, cumulative change of 1,209.19%
  • Boston, Massachusetts: 2.68% average rate, $3,000 → $37,981.97, cumulative change of 1,166.07%
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 2.63% average rate, $3,000 → $36,222.16, cumulative change of 1,107.41%
  • Chicago, Illinois: 2.58% average rate, $3,000 → $34,655.18, cumulative change of 1,055.17%
  • Houston, Texas: 2.56% average rate, $3,000 → $33,905.54, cumulative change of 1,030.18%
  • Detroit, Michigan: 2.46% average rate, $3,000 → $30,973.59, cumulative change of 932.45%
  • Atlanta, Georgia: 2.46% average rate, $3,000 → $30,857.79, cumulative change of 928.59%

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 96 years between 1920 and 2016 (2.91%).

Atlanta, Georgia experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 96 years between 1920 and 2016 (2.46%).


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £3,000.00 in 1920 would be equivalent to £123,004.74 in 2016, an absolute change of £120,004.74 and a cumulative change of 4,000.16%.

In Canada, CA$3,000.00 in 1920 would be equivalent to CA$34,392.86 in 2016, an absolute change of CA$31,392.86 and a cumulative change of 1,046.43%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $33,001.05 and total percent change of 1,100.04%.


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 1920 and 2016.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.622266752847424% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $3,000 in 1920 → 2016
Food 2.61 1,081.92 35,457.71
Shelter 4.13 4,774.48 146,234.35
Energy 3.76 3,356.89 103,706.68
Apparel 1.13 194.50 8,834.95
New vehicles 1.14 195.98 8,879.27
Used cars and trucks 0.76 107.49 6,224.63
Transportation services 3.34 2,232.32 69,969.74
Medical care services 5.18 12,653.74 382,612.15
Medical care commodities 4.38 6,024.60 183,738.01

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1920. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $3,000, 1920 to 2016

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2016CPI in 1920
×
1920 USD value
=
2016 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 20 in the year 1920 and 240.007 in 2016:

240.00720
×
$3,000
=
$36,001.05

$3,000 in 1920 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $36,001.05 in 2016.

To get the total inflation rate for the 96 years between 1920 and 2016, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2016 - CPI in 1920CPI in 1920
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (96 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

240.007 - 2020
×
100
=
1,100%

News headlines from 1920

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

  • The League of Nations' first assembly takes place in Paris.
  • The British Parliament passes the Fourth Home Rule Act, dividing Ireland into two parts and leading to a yearlong Anglo-Irish war in the southern counties.
  • The Catholic Church canonizes Joan of Arc, formally making her a saint.
  • The 19th Amendment to the constitution is ratified, granting U.S. woman suffrage for the first time.

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: “$3,000 in 1920 → 2016 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 14 Aug. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/1920-dollars-in-2016?amount=3000.


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