$20 in 1972 → $117.12 in 2017

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U.S. Inflation Rate, $20 in 1972 to 2017

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 4.01% per year. Prices in 2017 are 485.6% higher than prices in 1972.

In other words, $20 in 1972 is equivalent in purchasing power to $117.12 in 2017, a difference of $97.12 over 45 years.

The inflation rate in 2017 was 1.99%.

Inflation from 1972 to 2017
Cumulative price change 485.60%
Average inflation rate 4.01%
Converted amount ($20 base) $117.12
Price difference ($20 base) $97.12
CPI in 1972 41.8
CPI in 2017 244.786


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2018


Inflation rates for specific categories

New trucks · Film and photographic supplies · Wireless telephone services · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

S&P 500 price · S&P 500 earnings · Shiller P/E

How to calculate the inflation rate for $20, 1972 to 2017

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017 / CPI in 1972 * 1972 USD value = 2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 41.8 in the year 1972 and 244.786 in 2017:

244.786 / 41.8 * $20 = $117.12

$20 in 1972 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $117.12 in 2017.


News headlines from 1972

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

  • The US's costliest natural disaster, Hurricane Agnes, causes 119 deaths and $3 billion damage.
  • The US Senate,ratifies the first Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
  • A member of the terrorist group Black September kills eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.
  • Pong, the first commercially successful video game is released by the co-founder of Atari.

Inflation Data Source

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 1972 → 2017 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 21 Jun. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/1972-dollars-in-2017?amount=20.


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