$1 in 2020 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.06 today. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 5.25% in the last 12 months. As a result, the real value of a dollar has been decreasing recently. Purchasing power decreased by 5.25% in 2021 compared to 2020. On average, you would have to spend 5.25% more money in 2021 than in 2020 for the same item.

This means that today's prices are 1.06 times higher than average prices since 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index. A dollar today only buys 94.34% of what it could buy back then.

The 2020 inflation rate was 1.23%. The current year-over-year inflation rate (2020 to 2021) is now 5.25%^{1}.
If this number holds, $1 today will be equivalent in buying power to $1.05 next year.
The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest inflation rates.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 2021 is 273.57. It was 258.81 in the previous year, 2020. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.

Contents

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Average inflation rate | 5.25% |

Converted amount ($1 base) | $1.06 |

Price difference ($1 base) | $0.06 |

CPI in 2020 | 258.812 |

CPI in 2021 | 273.567 |

Inflation in 2020 | 1.23% |

Inflation in 2021 | 5.25% |

$1 in 2020 | $1.06 in 2021 |

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 2020 to 2021 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $1):

**Atlanta, Georgia**: 4.32% average rate, $1 → $1.04, cumulative change of 4.32%**Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas**: 3.68% average rate, $1 → $1.04, cumulative change of 3.68%**Chicago, Illinois**: 3.27% average rate, $1 → $1.03, cumulative change of 3.27%**St Louis, Missouri**: 3.21% average rate, $1 → $1.03, cumulative change of 3.21%**Seattle, Washington**: 3.14% average rate, $1 → $1.03, cumulative change of 3.14%**Houston, Texas**: 3.08% average rate, $1 → $1.03, cumulative change of 3.08%**Detroit, Michigan**: 2.97% average rate, $1 → $1.03, cumulative change of 2.97%**Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Florida**: 2.95% average rate, $1 → $1.03, cumulative change of 2.95%**Philadelphia, Pennsylvania**: 2.80% average rate, $1 → $1.03, cumulative change of 2.80%**New York**: 2.56% average rate, $1 → $1.03, cumulative change of 2.56%**San Francisco, California**: 2.55% average rate, $1 → $1.03, cumulative change of 2.55%**Boston, Massachusetts**: 2.09% average rate, $1 → $1.02, cumulative change of 2.09%**Denver, Colorado**: 0.00% average rate, $1 → $1.00, cumulative change of 0.00%**Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota**: 0.00% average rate, $1 → $1.00, cumulative change of 0.00%**San Diego, California**: 0.00% average rate, $1 → $1.00, cumulative change of 0.00%**Tampa, Florida**: 0.00% average rate, $1 → $1.00, cumulative change of 0.00%**Phoenix, Arizona**: 0.00% average rate, $1 → $1.00, cumulative change of 0.00%

Atlanta, Georgia experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 2020 and 2021 (4.32%).

Phoenix, Arizona experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 2020 and 2021 (0.00%).

Note that some locations showing 0% inflation may have not yet reported latest data.

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 2020 would be equivalent to £1.01 in 2021, an absolute change of £0.01 and a cumulative change of 0.70%.

In Canada, CA$1.00 in 2020 would be equivalent to CA$1.01 in 2021, an absolute change of CA$0.01 and a cumulative change of 0.73%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $0.06 and total percent change of 5.70%.

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. Breaking down these categories helps explain the main drivers behind price changes. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 2020 and 2021.

Compare these values to the overall average of 5.25% per year:

Category | Avg Inflation (%) | Total Inflation (%) | $1 in 2020 → 2021 |
---|---|---|---|

Food and beverages | 2.54 | 2.54 | 1.03 |

Housing | 2.31 | 2.31 | 1.02 |

Apparel | 1.70 | 1.70 | 1.02 |

Transportation | 11.66 | 11.66 | 1.12 |

Medical care | 0.99 | 0.99 | 1.01 |

Recreation | 1.68 | 1.68 | 1.02 |

Education and communication | 1.27 | 1.27 | 1.01 |

Other goods and services | 2.37 | 2.37 | 1.02 |

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 2020. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 2020 and today:

CPI today
CPI in 2020

×

2020 USD value

=

Today's value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 258.81166666667 in the year 2020 and 273.567 in 2021:

273.567258.81166666667

×

$1

=

$1 in 2020 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1.06 in 2021.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 2020 and 2021, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2021 - CPI in 2020CPI in 2020

×

100

=

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

273.567 - 258.81166666667258.81166666667

×

100

=

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 2.68% per year between 2020 and 2021 (vs all-CPI inflation of 5.25%), for an inflation total of 2.68%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $1 in 2020 is equivalent in buying power to $1.03 in 2021, a difference of $0.03. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $1.06 with a difference of $0.06.

In 2020, core inflation was 1.70%.

**Chained CPI** is an alternative measurement that takes into account how consumers adjust spending for similar items.
Chained inflation averaged 3.59% per year between 2020 and 2021, a total inflation amount of 2.68%.

According to the Chained CPI measurement, $1 in 2020 is equal in buying power to $1.04 in 2021, a difference of $0.04 (versus a converted amount of $1.06/change of $0.06 for All Items).

In 2020, chained inflation was 1.09%.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $1 in the S&P 500 index in 2020, our investment would be * nominally* worth approximately $1.41 in 2021. This is a return on investment of 40.58%, with an absolute return of $0.41 on top of the original $1.

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 5.39% of returns ($0.08) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted * real* return of our $1 investment is $0.33. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $0 for most people.

Original Amount | Final Amount | Change | |
---|---|---|---|

Nominal |
$1 | $1.41 | 40.58% |

RealInflation Adjusted |
$1 | $1.33 | 33.00% |

Information displayed above may differ slightly from other S&P 500 calculators. Minor discrepancies can occur because we use the latest CPI data for inflation, annualized inflation numbers for previous years, and we compute S&P price and dividends from January of 2020 to latest available data for 2021 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 2020 and 2021, see the stock market returns calculator.

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index (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: “Inflation Rate in 2021 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 14 Sep. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-2021.

Special thanks to QuickChart for their chart image API, which is used for chart downloads.

Average inflation rate | 5.25% |

Converted amount ($1 base) | $1.06 |

Price difference ($1 base) | $0.06 |

CPI in 2020 | 258.812 |

CPI in 2021 | 273.567 |

Inflation in 2020 | 1.23% |

Inflation in 2021 | 5.25% |

$1 in 2020 | $1.06 in 2021 |