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U.S. inflation rate 1990-2020

This statistic shows the unadjusted annual inflation rate in the U.S. from 1990 to December 2020. The data represents U.S. city averages. The base period was 1982-84. In economics, the inflation rate is a measure of inflation, the rate of increase of a price index (in the below case: consumer price index). It is the percentage rate of change in price level over time. The rate of decrease in the purchasing power of money is approximately equal. In the second half of 2020, prices went up by 1.2 percent compared to the previous year. See the U.S. GDP growth rate and U.S. GDP per capita for more information.

The monthly inflation rate for the United States can be accessed here.


Inflation is a fundamental economic indicator. For example, if an average pair of socks costs 100 dollars one year and 105 dollars the following year, the inflation rate is 5 percent. This means the purchasing power of the dollar has decreased. The data presents the average rate of inflation throughout a year.

The purchasing power is the extent to which a person has available funds to make purchases. The Big Mac Index is published by The Economist since 1986 and simplifies the purchasing power of a country. Compared to Switzerland, where the price for a Big Mac was about 6.91 U.S. dollars, people living in India only have to pay 2.53 U.S. dollars.

People need to make sure they can sustain a certain standard of living and have to spend money for housing, food, health care and other goods and services. According to UBS, the costs of living are highest in Zurich, which is the largest city in Switzerland, with a value of 104.3. This index value is based on the costs of living in New York, which has been given the value of 100.

As of 2019, Wyoming was considered as the best state to make a living, where the average income was about 40,240 U.S. dollars. Based on that same statistic, Washington and Texas were affordable states ranked second and third. People living in Wyoming had an average income of 40,240 U.S. dollars, while people from Texas had an average income of 37,100 U.S dollars.

United States: Inflation rate from 1990 to 2020

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Release date

January 2021


United States

Survey time period

1990 to 2020

Supplementary notes

*Half-yearly value as of December 2020.
Values are annual averages, and not seasonally adjusted.

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Statistics on "Consumer Price Index and Inflation rate"

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