View $20 in 1932 → **2021**

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$20 in 1932 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $366.76 in 2018, an increase of $346.76 over 86 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 3.44% per year between 1932 and 2018, producing a cumulative price increase of 1,733.80%.

This means that prices in 2018 are 18.34 times higher than average prices since 1932, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The 1932 inflation rate was -9.87%. The inflation rate in 2018 was 2.49%. The 2018 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 3.26% per year between 2018 and 2021.

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Cumulative price change | 1,733.80% |

Average inflation rate | 3.44% |

Converted amount ($20 base) | $366.76 |

Price difference ($20 base) | $346.76 |

CPI in 1932 | 13.700 |

CPI in 2018 | 251.230 |

Inflation in 1932 | -9.87% |

Inflation in 2018 | 2.49% |

$20 in 1932 | $366.76 in 2018 |

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $20 in 1932 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $20, you would need to end with $366.76 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $20 is equivalent to $366.76 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 1932 dollars, the chart below shows how $20 is worth less over 86 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 1932 amounts in 2018 dollars, based on the 1,733.80% change in prices:

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

$1 dollar in 1932 | $18.34 dollars in 2018 |

$5 dollars in 1932 | $91.69 dollars in 2018 |

$10 dollars in 1932 | $183.38 dollars in 2018 |

$50 dollars in 1932 | $916.90 dollars in 2018 |

$100 dollars in 1932 | $1,833.80 dollars in 2018 |

$500 dollars in 1932 | $9,168.98 dollars in 2018 |

$1,000 dollars in 1932 | $18,337.96 dollars in 2018 |

$5,000 dollars in 1932 | $91,689.78 dollars in 2018 |

$10,000 dollars in 1932 | $183,379.56 dollars in 2018 |

$50,000 dollars in 1932 | $916,897.81 dollars in 2018 |

$100,000 dollars in 1932 | $1,833,795.62 dollars in 2018 |

$500,000 dollars in 1932 | $9,168,978.10 dollars in 2018 |

$1,000,000 dollars in 1932 | $18,337,956.20 dollars in 2018 |

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1932 to 2018 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $20):

**San Francisco, California**: 3.71% average rate, $20 → $457.39, cumulative change of 2,186.95%**Seattle, Washington**: 3.60% average rate, $20 → $420.10, cumulative change of 2,000.50%**Boston, Massachusetts**: 3.48% average rate, $20 → $378.09, cumulative change of 1,790.43%**New York**: 3.44% average rate, $20 → $366.07, cumulative change of 1,730.37%**Houston, Texas**: 3.40% average rate, $20 → $355.58, cumulative change of 1,677.91%**Atlanta, Georgia**: 3.39% average rate, $20 → $350.97, cumulative change of 1,654.83%**Detroit, Michigan**: 3.39% average rate, $20 → $350.41, cumulative change of 1,652.04%**Philadelphia, Pennsylvania**: 3.37% average rate, $20 → $344.71, cumulative change of 1,623.53%**Chicago, Illinois**: 3.34% average rate, $20 → $337.57, cumulative change of 1,587.86%

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 86 years between 1932 and 2018 (3.71%).

Chicago, Illinois experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 86 years between 1932 and 2018 (3.34%).

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 £20.00 in 1932 would be equivalent to £1,362.87 in 2018, an absolute change of £1,342.87 and a cumulative change of 6,714.34%.

In Canada, CA$20.00 in 1932 would be equivalent to CA$358.36 in 2018, an absolute change of CA$338.36 and a cumulative change of 1,691.78%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $346.76 and total percent change of 1,733.80%.

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 1932 and 2018.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.44% per year:

Category | Avg Inflation (%) | Total Inflation (%) | $20 in 1932 → 2018 |
---|---|---|---|

Food and beverages | 3.96 | 2,717.11 | 563.42 |

Housing | 4.26 | 3,514.96 | 722.99 |

Apparel | 2.21 | 554.45 | 130.89 |

Transportation | 3.30 | 1,535.45 | 327.09 |

Medical care | 4.76 | 5,363.73 | 1,092.75 |

Recreation | 1.09 | 153.78 | 50.76 |

Education and communication | 1.89 | 402.20 | 100.44 |

Other goods and services | 5.10 | 7,083.09 | 1,436.62 |

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 1932. 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 1932 and 2018:

CPI in 2018
CPI in 1932

×

1932 USD value

=

2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 13.7 in the year 1932 and 251.23 in 2018:

251.2313.7

×

$20

=

$20 in 1932 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $366.76 in 2018.

To get the total inflation rate for the 86 years between 1932 and 2018, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2018 - CPI in 1932CPI in 1932

×

100

=

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

251.23 - 13.713.7

×

100

=

The average inflation rate of 3.44% has a compounding effect between 1932 and 2018. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 1,733.80% over 86 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $20 in the S&P 500 index in 1932, our investment would be * nominally* worth approximately $155,531.67 in 2018. This is a return on investment of 777,558.34%, with an absolute return of $155,511.67 on top of the original $20.

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 94.55% of returns ($147,050.26) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted * real* return of our $20 investment is $8,461.41. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $7,192 for most people.

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

Nominal |
$20 | $155,531.67 | 777,558.34% |

RealInflation Adjusted |
$20 | $8,481.41 | 42,307.03% |

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 1932 to latest available data for 2018 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 1932 and 2018, see the stock market returns calculator.

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

- Opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
- The first female transatlantic solo flight is completed by Amelia Earhart.
- The British Broadcasting Corporation begins overseas transmission.

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 in 1932 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 5 Dec. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/1932-dollars-in-2018?amount=20.

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

in2013dollars.com is a reference website maintained by the Official Data Foundation.

Cumulative price change | 1,733.80% |

Average inflation rate | 3.44% |

Converted amount ($20 base) | $366.76 |

Price difference ($20 base) | $346.76 |

CPI in 1932 | 13.700 |

CPI in 2018 | 251.230 |

Inflation in 1932 | -9.87% |

Inflation in 2018 | 2.49% |

$20 in 1932 | $366.76 in 2018 |