Fresh whole milk priced at $20 in 1939 $232.84 in 2021

Fresh Whole Milk Inflation Calculator

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Prices for Fresh Whole Milk, 1939-2021 ($20)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for fresh whole milk were 1,064.22% higher in 2021 versus 1939 (a $212.84 difference in value).

Between 1939 and 2021: Fresh whole milk experienced an average inflation rate of 3.04% per year. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, fresh whole milk costing $20 in the year 1939 would cost $232.84 in 2021 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 3.65% during this same period, inflation for fresh whole milk was lower.

Price Inflation for Fresh whole milk since 1939

Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Years with the largest changes in pricing: 1974 (19.81%), 2009 (-15.68%), and 1946 (14.88%).

Raw Consumer Price Index data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for Fresh whole milk:

Year 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
CPI 18.538 19.115 20.846 22.515 23.854 24.169 24.200 27.800 31.108 34.662 33.169 32.238 35.762 37.523 37.092 36.331 36.377 37.469 38.792 39.515 39.900 40.846 40.992 40.800 40.585 40.723 40.515 43.108 44.823 46.715 48.008 50.038 51.415 52.154 57.085 68.392 68.485 72.069 72.800 77.015 85.854 93.485 98.769 99.300 99.969 100.723 102.300 101.708 103.638 106.038 114.269 126.669 122.392 126.431 127.892 131.162 131.115 141.092 142.877 147.923 156.223 156.923 165.869 162.115 162.477 183.362 184.923 181.585 205.397 217.220 183.170 191.173 209.530 211.266 214.683 227.740 213.082 203.133 200.974 195.638 200.491 212.621 215.828

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Buying power of $20 since 1939

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Fresh whole milk, over time, for $20 beginning in 1939. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year USD Value Inflation Rate
1939 $20.00 -
1940 $20.62 3.11%
1941 $22.49 9.05%
1942 $24.29 8.01%
1943 $25.73 5.94%
1944 $26.07 1.32%
1945 $26.11 0.13%
1946 $29.99 14.88%
1947 $33.56 11.90%
1948 $37.39 11.42%
1949 $35.78 -4.31%
1950 $34.78 -2.81%
1951 $38.58 10.93%
1952 $40.48 4.93%
1953 $40.02 -1.15%
1954 $39.20 -2.05%
1955 $39.24 0.13%
1956 $40.42 3.00%
1957 $41.85 3.53%
1958 $42.63 1.86%
1959 $43.05 0.97%
1960 $44.07 2.37%
1961 $44.22 0.36%
1962 $44.02 -0.47%
1963 $43.78 -0.53%
1964 $43.93 0.34%
1965 $43.71 -0.51%
1966 $46.51 6.40%
1967 $48.36 3.98%
1968 $50.40 4.22%
1969 $51.79 2.77%
1970 $53.98 4.23%
1971 $55.47 2.75%
1972 $56.27 1.44%
1973 $61.59 9.45%
1974 $73.78 19.81%
1975 $73.88 0.13%
1976 $77.75 5.23%
1977 $78.54 1.01%
1978 $83.09 5.79%
1979 $92.62 11.48%
1980 $100.85 8.89%
1981 $106.56 5.65%
1982 $107.13 0.54%
1983 $107.85 0.67%
1984 $108.66 0.75%
1985 $110.37 1.57%
1986 $109.73 -0.58%
1987 $111.81 1.90%
1988 $114.40 2.32%
1989 $123.28 7.76%
1990 $136.66 10.85%
1991 $132.04 -3.38%
1992 $136.40 3.30%
1993 $137.98 1.16%
1994 $141.50 2.56%
1995 $141.45 -0.04%
1996 $152.22 7.61%
1997 $154.14 1.26%
1998 $159.59 3.53%
1999 $168.54 5.61%
2000 $169.29 0.45%
2001 $178.95 5.70%
2002 $174.90 -2.26%
2003 $175.29 0.22%
2004 $197.82 12.85%
2005 $199.50 0.85%
2006 $195.90 -1.81%
2007 $221.59 13.11%
2008 $234.35 5.76%
2009 $197.61 -15.68%
2010 $206.24 4.37%
2011 $226.05 9.60%
2012 $227.92 0.83%
2013 $231.61 1.62%
2014 $245.69 6.08%
2015 $229.88 -6.44%
2016 $219.15 -4.67%
2017 $216.82 -1.06%
2018 $211.06 -2.65%
2019 $216.30 2.48%
2020 $229.38 6.05%
2021 $232.84 1.51%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

How to calculate the inflation rate for fresh whole milk, 1939-2021

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2021 / CPI in 1939 * 1939 USD value = 2021 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for Fresh whole milk was 18.538 in the year 1939 and 215.828 in 2021:

215.828 / 18.538 * $20 = $232.84

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $20 in 1939 has the same "purchasing power" as $232.84 in 2021 (in the CPI category of Fresh whole milk).


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the Consumer Price Index for Fresh whole milk in 1939. In addition to fresh whole milk, the index produces monthly data on changes in prices paid by urban consumers for a variety of goods and services.

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