$20 in 2015 → $21.26 in 2018

Inflation Calculator

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U.S. Inflation Rate, $20 in 2015 to 2018

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2018 are 6.32% higher than prices in 2015. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.95% per year during this period.

In other words, $20 in 2015 is equivalent in purchasing power to $21.26 in 2018, a difference of $1.26 over 3 years.

The 2015 inflation rate was 0.12%. The current inflation rate (2017 to 2018) is now 2.95%1. If this number holds, $20 today will be equivalent to $20.59 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.


Inflation from 2015 to 2018
Cumulative price change 6.32%
Average inflation rate 2.95%
Converted amount ($20 base) $21.26
Price difference ($20 base) $1.26
CPI in 2015 237.017
CPI in 2018 252.006
Inflation in 2015 0.12%
Inflation in 2018 2.95%


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

Buying power of $20 since 2015

This chart shows calculations of buying power equivalence over time for $20 in 2015 (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
2015 $20.00 0.12%
2016 $20.25 1.26%
2017 $20.68 2.13%
2018 $21.26 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 2015 to 2018 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $20):

San Diego, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 3 years between 2015 and 2018 (4.70%).

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 3 years between 2015 and 2018 (0.93%).


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £20.00 in 2015 would be equivalent to £21.53 in 2018, an absolute change of £1.53 and a cumulative change of 7.67%.

In Canada, CA$20.00 in 2015 would be equivalent to CA$21.08 in 2018, an absolute change of CA$1.08 and a cumulative change of 5.38%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $1.26 and total percent change of 6.32%.


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 2015 and 2018.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.9495150866471143% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $20 in 2015 → 2018
Food 0.76 2.29 20.46
Shelter 3.12 9.65 21.93
Energy 2.62 8.08 21.62
Apparel 0.08 0.24 20.05
New vehicles -0.12 -0.37 19.93
Used cars and trucks -1.99 -5.84 18.83
Transportation services 3.30 10.23 22.05
Medical care services 2.75 8.49 21.70
Medical care commodities 2.53 7.79 21.56

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 2015. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $20 since 2015

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018CPI in 2015
×
2015 USD value
=
2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 237.017 in the year 2015 and 252.006 in 2018:

252.006237.017
×
$20
=
$21.26

$20 in 2015 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $21.26 in 2018.

To get the total inflation rate for the 3 years between 2015 and 2018, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2018 - CPI in 2015CPI in 2015
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (3 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

252.006 - 237.017237.017
×
100
=
6%

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 1.93% per year between 2015 and 2018 (vs all-CPI inflation of 2.9495150866471143%), for an inflation total of 5.90%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $20 in 2015 is equivalent in buying power to $21.18 in 2018, a difference of $1.18. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $21.26 with a difference of $1.26.

In 2015, core inflation was 1.83%.

Chained CPI is an alternative measurement that takes into account how consumers adjust spending for similar items. Chained inflation averaged 1.53% per year between 2015 and 2018, a total inflation amount of 5.90%.

According to the Chained CPI measurement, $20 in 2015 is equal in buying power to $20.93 in 2018, a difference of $0.93 (versus a converted amount of $21.26/change of $1.26 for All Items).

In 2015, chained inflation was -0.12%.


News headlines from 2015

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

  • Barack Obama and Raul Castro, hold the first meeting between Cuban and American leaders since the Cuban Revolution.
  • The population of India reaches 1 billion (officially). The billionth baby was named Astha Arora.
  • Donald Trump announces his intention to join the US presidential campaign.
  • China brings an end to its one child policy, 35 years after it was first introduced.

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: “$20 in 2015 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 13 Aug. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/2015-dollars-in-2018?amount=20.


» Read more about inflation.