$12 in 1962 → $100.15 in 2018

Inflation Calculator

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U.S. Inflation Rate, $12 in 1962 to 2018

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2018 are 734.56% higher than prices in 1962. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.86% per year during this period.

In other words, $12 in 1962 is equivalent in purchasing power to $100.15 in 2018, a difference of $88.15 over 56 years.

The 1962 inflation rate was 1.00%. The current inflation rate (2017 to 2018) is now 2.18%1. If this number holds, $12 today will be equivalent to $12.26 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.


Inflation from 1962 to 2018
Cumulative price change 734.56%
Average inflation rate 3.86%
Converted amount ($12 base) $100.15
Price difference ($12 base) $88.15
CPI in 1962 30.200
CPI in 2018 252.038
Inflation in 1962 1.00%
Inflation in 2018 2.18%


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

Buying power of $12 since 1962

This chart shows calculations of buying power equivalence over time for $12 in 1962 (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
1962 $12.00 1.00%
1963 $12.16 1.32%
1964 $12.32 1.31%
1965 $12.52 1.61%
1966 $12.87 2.86%
1967 $13.27 3.09%
1968 $13.83 4.19%
1969 $14.58 5.46%
1970 $15.42 5.72%
1971 $16.09 4.38%
1972 $16.61 3.21%
1973 $17.64 6.22%
1974 $19.59 11.04%
1975 $21.38 9.13%
1976 $22.61 5.76%
1977 $24.08 6.50%
1978 $25.91 7.59%
1979 $28.85 11.35%
1980 $32.74 13.50%
1981 $36.12 10.32%
1982 $38.34 6.16%
1983 $39.58 3.21%
1984 $41.28 4.32%
1985 $42.75 3.56%
1986 $43.55 1.86%
1987 $45.14 3.65%
1988 $47.01 4.14%
1989 $49.27 4.82%
1990 $51.93 5.40%
1991 $54.12 4.21%
1992 $55.75 3.01%
1993 $57.42 2.99%
1994 $58.89 2.56%
1995 $60.56 2.83%
1996 $62.34 2.95%
1997 $63.77 2.29%
1998 $64.77 1.56%
1999 $66.20 2.21%
2000 $68.42 3.36%
2001 $70.37 2.85%
2002 $71.48 1.58%
2003 $73.11 2.28%
2004 $75.06 2.66%
2005 $77.60 3.39%
2006 $80.11 3.23%
2007 $82.39 2.85%
2008 $85.55 3.84%
2009 $85.25 -0.36%
2010 $86.64 1.64%
2011 $89.38 3.16%
2012 $91.23 2.07%
2013 $92.57 1.46%
2014 $94.07 1.62%
2015 $94.18 0.12%
2016 $95.37 1.26%
2017 $97.40 2.13%
2018 $100.15 2.82%*
* 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 1962 to 2018 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $12):

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 56 years between 1962 and 2018 (4.14%).

Chicago, Illinois experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 56 years between 1962 and 2018 (3.72%).

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 £12.00 in 1962 would be equivalent to £248.67 in 2018, an absolute change of £236.67 and a cumulative change of 1,972.21%.

In Canada, CA$12.00 in 1962 would be equivalent to CA$99.98 in 2018, an absolute change of CA$87.98 and a cumulative change of 733.13%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $88.15 and total percent change of 734.56%.


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 1962 and 2018.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.86% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $12 in 1962 → 2018
Food 3.85 727.30 99.28
Shelter 4.53 1,094.29 143.31
Energy 4.15 876.10 117.13
Apparel 1.80 172.31 32.68
New vehicles 1.05 79.87 21.58
Used cars and trucks 0.61 40.89 16.91
Transportation services 3.35 531.27 75.75
Medical care services 5.90 2,378.23 297.39
Medical care commodities 4.28 948.04 125.76

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1962. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $12 since 1962

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018CPI in 1962
×
1962 USD value
=
2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 30.2 in the year 1962 and 252.038 in 2018:

252.03830.2
×
$12
=
$100.15

$12 in 1962 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $100.15 in 2018.

To get the total inflation rate for the 56 years between 1962 and 2018, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2018 - CPI in 1962CPI in 1962
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (56 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

252.038 - 30.230.2
×
100
=
735%

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 3.83% per year between 1962 and 2018 (vs all-CPI inflation of 3.86%), for an inflation total of 719.58%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $12 in 1962 is equivalent in buying power to $98.35 in 2018, a difference of $86.35. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $100.15 with a difference of $88.15.

In 1962, core inflation was 1.29%.


Comparison to S&P 500 Index

The average inflation rate of 3.86% has a compounding effect between 1962 and 2018. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 734.56% over 56 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $12 in the S&P 500 index in 1962, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $2,401.99 in 2018. This is a return on investment of 19,916.59%, with an absolute return of $2,389.99.

These numbers are not inflation adjusted, so they are considered nominal. In order to evaluate the real return on our investment, we must calculate the return with inflation taken into account.

The compounding effect of inflation would account for 88.02% of returns ($2,103.61) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $12 investment is $286.38.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1962-2018
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $12 $2,401.99 19,916.59%
Real
Inflation Adjusted
$12 $286.38 2,386.47%


News headlines from 1962

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

  • The second Vatican Council is convened by Pope John XXIII.
  • The American President, Kennedy, orders the naval blockade of Cuba marking the beginning of the missile crisis.
  • The Cuban missile crisis also known as Black Saturday begins.

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: “$12 in 1962 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 19 Dec. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/1962-dollars-in-2018?amount=12.


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