$49.95 in 1989 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $96.68 in 2016, an increase of $46.73 over 27 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 2.48% per year between 1989 and 2016, producing a cumulative price increase of 93.55%.

This means that prices in 2016 are 1.94 times higher than average prices since 1989, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The 1989 inflation rate was 4.82%. The inflation rate in 2016 was 1.26%. The 2016 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.71% per year between 2016 and 2021.

Contents

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Cumulative price change | 93.55% |

Average inflation rate | 2.48% |

Converted amount ($49.95 base) | $96.68 |

Price difference ($49.95 base) | $46.73 |

CPI in 1989 | 124.000 |

CPI in 2016 | 240.007 |

Inflation in 1989 | 4.82% |

Inflation in 2016 | 1.26% |

$49.95 in 1989 | $96.68 in 2016 |

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for $49.95 in 1989 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with $49.95, you would need to end with $96.68 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When $49.95 is equivalent to $96.68 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 1989 dollars, the chart below shows how $49.95 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 1989 amounts in 2016 dollars, based on the 93.55% change in prices:

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

$1 dollar in 1989 | $1.94 dollars in 2016 |

$5 dollars in 1989 | $9.68 dollars in 2016 |

$10 dollars in 1989 | $19.36 dollars in 2016 |

$50 dollars in 1989 | $96.78 dollars in 2016 |

$100 dollars in 1989 | $193.55 dollars in 2016 |

$500 dollars in 1989 | $967.77 dollars in 2016 |

$1,000 dollars in 1989 | $1,935.54 dollars in 2016 |

$5,000 dollars in 1989 | $9,677.70 dollars in 2016 |

$10,000 dollars in 1989 | $19,355.40 dollars in 2016 |

$50,000 dollars in 1989 | $96,777.02 dollars in 2016 |

$100,000 dollars in 1989 | $193,554.03 dollars in 2016 |

$500,000 dollars in 1989 | $967,770.16 dollars in 2016 |

$1,000,000 dollars in 1989 | $1,935,540.32 dollars in 2016 |

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1989 to 2016 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $49.95):

**San Diego, California**: 3.29% average rate, $49.95 → $119.84, cumulative change of 139.93%**Seattle, Washington**: 3.27% average rate, $49.95 → $119.13, cumulative change of 138.50%**Denver, Colorado**: 2.84% average rate, $49.95 → $106.39, cumulative change of 112.99%**San Francisco, California**: 2.80% average rate, $49.95 → $105.17, cumulative change of 110.56%**Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Florida**: 2.71% average rate, $49.95 → $102.76, cumulative change of 105.72%**New York**: 2.63% average rate, $49.95 → $100.76, cumulative change of 101.72%**Tampa, Florida**: 2.59% average rate, $49.95 → $99.73, cumulative change of 99.66%**Boston, Massachusetts**: 2.58% average rate, $49.95 → $99.24, cumulative change of 98.69%**Atlanta, Georgia**: 2.57% average rate, $49.95 → $99.14, cumulative change of 98.47%**Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota**: 2.44% average rate, $49.95 → $95.87, cumulative change of 91.92%**Philadelphia, Pennsylvania**: 2.43% average rate, $49.95 → $95.46, cumulative change of 91.12%**Houston, Texas**: 2.40% average rate, $49.95 → $94.82, cumulative change of 89.82%**Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas**: 2.30% average rate, $49.95 → $92.20, cumulative change of 84.58%**Chicago, Illinois**: 2.27% average rate, $49.95 → $91.64, cumulative change of 83.47%**Detroit, Michigan**: 2.24% average rate, $49.95 → $90.91, cumulative change of 82.01%**St Louis, Missouri**: 2.23% average rate, $49.95 → $90.63, cumulative change of 81.43%

San Diego, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 27 years between 1989 and 2016 (3.29%).

St Louis, Missouri experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 27 years between 1989 and 2016 (2.23%).

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 £49.95 in 1989 would be equivalent to £114.04 in 2016, an absolute change of £64.09 and a cumulative change of 128.32%.

In Canada, CA$49.95 in 1989 would be equivalent to CA$84.28 in 2016, an absolute change of CA$34.33 and a cumulative change of 68.73%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $46.73 and total percent change of 93.55%.

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 1989 and 2016.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.48% per year:

Category | Avg Inflation (%) | Total Inflation (%) | $49.95 in 1989 → 2016 |
---|---|---|---|

Food and beverages | 2.57 | 98.27 | 99.04 |

Housing | 2.57 | 98.35 | 99.08 |

Apparel | 0.23 | 6.29 | 53.09 |

Transportation | 2.00 | 70.81 | 85.32 |

Medical care | 4.29 | 210.66 | 155.18 |

Recreation | 1.11 | 34.57 | 67.22 |

Education and communication | 2.14 | 76.95 | 88.39 |

Other goods and services | 3.98 | 186.47 | 143.09 |

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 1989. 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 1989 and 2016:

CPI in 2016
CPI in 1989

×

1989 USD value

=

2016 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 124 in the year 1989 and 240.007 in 2016:

240.007124

×

$49.95

=

$49.95 in 1989 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $96.68 in 2016.

To get the total inflation rate for the 27 years between 1989 and 2016, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2016 - CPI in 1989CPI in 1989

×

100

=

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

240.007 - 124124

×

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 2.44% per year between 1989 and 2016 (vs all-CPI inflation of 2.48%), for an inflation total of 91.97%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $49.95 in 1989 is equivalent in buying power to $95.89 in 2016, a difference of $45.94. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $96.68 with a difference of $46.73.

In 1989, core inflation was 4.51%.

The average inflation rate of 2.48% has a compounding effect between 1989 and 2016. As noted above, this yearly inflation rate compounds to produce an overall price difference of 93.55% over 27 years.

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $49.95 in the S&P 500 index in 1989, our investment would be * nominally* worth approximately $720.04 in 2016. This is a return on investment of 1,341.52%, with an absolute return of $670.09 on top of the original $49.95.

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 0.00% of returns ($0.00) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted * real* return of our $49.95 investment is $0.00. 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 |
$49.95 | $720.04 | 1,341.52% |

RealInflation Adjusted |
$49.95 | $0.00 | 0.00% |

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 1989 to latest available data for 2016 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 1989 and 2016, see the stock market returns calculator.

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

- Chinese troops kill thousands of students protesting at Tiananmen Square.
- The first (partially) free elections take place in Poland, bringing democracy to Eastern Europe for the first time in 40 years. (Won by the Solidarity Party)
- The demolition of the Berlin Wall begins.
- Presidents George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev declare that the Cold War has ended.

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: “$49.95 in 1989 → 2016 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 21 Oct. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/1989-dollars-in-2016?amount=49.95.

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 | 93.55% |

Average inflation rate | 2.48% |

Converted amount ($49.95 base) | $96.68 |

Price difference ($49.95 base) | $46.73 |

CPI in 1989 | 124.000 |

CPI in 2016 | 240.007 |

Inflation in 1989 | 4.82% |

Inflation in 2016 | 1.26% |

$49.95 in 1989 | $96.68 in 2016 |