👉 You may be interested in $20,000 in 1990 → **2021**

$20,000 in 1990 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $37,508.80 in 2017, an increase of $17,508.80 over 27 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 2.36% per year between 1990 and 2017, producing a cumulative price increase of 87.54%.

This means that prices in 2017 are 1.88 times higher than average prices since 1990, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The 1990 inflation rate was 5.40%. The inflation rate in 2017 was 2.13%. The 2017 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.78% per year between 2017 and 2021.

Contents

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Cumulative price change | 87.54% |

Average inflation rate | 2.36% |

Converted amount ($20,000 base) | $37,508.80 |

Price difference ($20,000 base) | $17,508.80 |

CPI in 1990 | 130.700 |

CPI in 2017 | 245.120 |

Inflation in 1990 | 5.40% |

Inflation in 2017 | 2.13% |

$20,000 in 1990 | $37,508.80 in 2017 |

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $20,000 in 1990 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $20,000, you would need to end with $37,508.80 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $20,000 is equivalent to $37,508.80 over time, that means that the "real value" of a single U.S. dollar decreases over time. In other words, a dollar will pay for fewer items at the store.

This effect explains how inflation erodes the value of a dollar over time. By calculating the value in 1990 dollars, the chart below shows how $20,000 is worth less over 27 years.

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:

This conversion table shows various other 1990 amounts in 2017 dollars, based on the 87.54% change in prices:

Initial value | Equivalent value |
---|---|

$1 dollar in 1990 | $1.88 dollars in 2017 |

$5 dollars in 1990 | $9.38 dollars in 2017 |

$10 dollars in 1990 | $18.75 dollars in 2017 |

$50 dollars in 1990 | $93.77 dollars in 2017 |

$100 dollars in 1990 | $187.54 dollars in 2017 |

$500 dollars in 1990 | $937.72 dollars in 2017 |

$1,000 dollars in 1990 | $1,875.44 dollars in 2017 |

$5,000 dollars in 1990 | $9,377.20 dollars in 2017 |

$10,000 dollars in 1990 | $18,754.40 dollars in 2017 |

$50,000 dollars in 1990 | $93,772.00 dollars in 2017 |

$100,000 dollars in 1990 | $187,543.99 dollars in 2017 |

$500,000 dollars in 1990 | $937,719.97 dollars in 2017 |

$1,000,000 dollars in 1990 | $1,875,439.94 dollars in 2017 |

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1990 to 2017 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $20,000):

**Seattle, Washington**: 3.38% average rate, $20,000 → $49,130.48, cumulative change of 145.65%**San Diego, California**: 3.33% average rate, $20,000 → $48,470.11, cumulative change of 142.35%**Denver, Colorado**: 2.80% average rate, $20,000 → $42,182.80, cumulative change of 110.91%**San Francisco, California**: 2.75% average rate, $20,000 → $41,611.27, cumulative change of 108.06%**Atlanta, Georgia**: 2.69% average rate, $20,000 → $40,987.37, cumulative change of 104.94%**Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Florida**: 2.61% average rate, $20,000 → $40,151.93, cumulative change of 100.76%**Tampa, Florida**: 2.53% average rate, $20,000 → $39,294.72, cumulative change of 96.47%**New York**: 2.48% average rate, $20,000 → $38,763.85, cumulative change of 93.82%**Boston, Massachusetts**: 2.46% average rate, $20,000 → $38,521.37, cumulative change of 92.61%**Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota**: 2.37% average rate, $20,000 → $37,675.43, cumulative change of 88.38%**Houston, Texas**: 2.27% average rate, $20,000 → $36,699.67, cumulative change of 83.50%**Philadelphia, Pennsylvania**: 2.26% average rate, $20,000 → $36,560.90, cumulative change of 82.80%**Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas**: 2.22% average rate, $20,000 → $36,219.51, cumulative change of 81.10%**Chicago, Illinois**: 2.15% average rate, $20,000 → $35,476.28, cumulative change of 77.38%**Detroit, Michigan**: 2.13% average rate, $20,000 → $35,324.70, cumulative change of 76.62%**St Louis, Missouri**: 2.10% average rate, $20,000 → $35,075.61, cumulative change of 75.38%

Seattle, Washington experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 27 years between 1990 and 2017 (3.38%).

St Louis, Missouri experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 27 years between 1990 and 2017 (2.10%).

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 £20,000.00 in 1990 would be equivalent to £43,212.06 in 2017, an absolute change of £23,212.06 and a cumulative change of 116.06%.

In Canada, CA$20,000.00 in 1990 would be equivalent to CA$32,640.80 in 2017, an absolute change of CA$12,640.80 and a cumulative change of 63.20%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $17,508.80 and total percent change of 87.54%.

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 1990 and 2017.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.36% per year:

Category | Avg Inflation (%) | Total Inflation (%) | $20,000 in 1990 → 2017 |
---|---|---|---|

Food and beverages | 2.39 | 89.17 | 37,833.91 |

Housing | 2.51 | 95.44 | 39,087.03 |

Apparel | 0.05 | 1.23 | 20,246.18 |

Transportation | 1.92 | 67.25 | 33,450.51 |

Medical care | 4.05 | 191.97 | 58,393.35 |

Recreation | 1.11 | 34.85 | 26,970.52 |

Education and communication | 1.97 | 69.13 | 33,825.18 |

Other goods and services | 3.78 | 172.09 | 54,418.80 |

The graph below compares inflation in categories of goods over time. Click on a category such as "Food" to toggle it on or off:

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 1990. 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 1990 and 2017:

CPI in 2017
CPI in 1990

×

1990 USD value

=

2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 130.7 in the year 1990 and 245.12 in 2017:

245.12130.7

×

$20,000

=

$20,000 in 1990 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $37,508.80 in 2017.

To get the total inflation rate for the 27 years between 1990 and 2017, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2017 - CPI in 1990CPI in 1990

×

100

=

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

245.12 - 130.7130.7

×

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 2.33% per year between 1990 and 2017 (vs all-CPI inflation of 2.36%), for an inflation total of 86.16%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $20,000 in 1990 is equivalent in buying power to $37,231.13 in 2017, a difference of $17,231.13. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $37,508.80 with a difference of $17,508.80.

In 1990, core inflation was 5.03%.

The average inflation rate of 2.36% has a compounding effect between 1990 and 2017. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 87.54% over 27 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $20,000 in the S&P 500 index in 1990, our investment would be * nominally* worth approximately $293,018.05 in 2017. This is a return on investment of 1,365.09%, with an absolute return of $273,018.05 on top of the original $20,000.

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 46.68% of returns ($136,778.42) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted * real* return of our $20,000 investment is $136,239.64. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $115,804 for most people.

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

Nominal |
$20,000 | $293,018.05 | 1,365.09% |

RealInflation Adjusted |
$20,000 | $156,239.64 | 681.20% |

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 1990 to latest available data for 2017 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 1990 and 2017, see the stock market returns calculator.

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

- Nelson Mandela is released having spent 27 years in South African prison.
- The Hubble Space Telescope takes its first photos from space.
- Dr Penny Jamieson, becomes the first woman to be made an Anglican Bishop, in New Zeeland
- The United States sends troops to Saudi Arabia, marking the beginning of Operation Desert Shield.

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: “$20,000 in 1990 → 2017 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 25 Sep. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1990?amount=20000&endYear=2017.

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

Cumulative price change | 87.54% |

Average inflation rate | 2.36% |

Converted amount ($20,000 base) | $37,508.80 |

Price difference ($20,000 base) | $17,508.80 |

CPI in 1990 | 130.700 |

CPI in 2017 | 245.120 |

Inflation in 1990 | 5.40% |

Inflation in 2017 | 2.13% |

$20,000 in 1990 | $37,508.80 in 2017 |