How Much Is $1 Worth Today Vs. 1990

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A dollar in 2023 will buy you roughly 43.45% of what it would buy you in 1990. So basically, $1 in 1990 would give you $2.30 worth of purchasing power today.

While that sounds like your money is worth more today than it was in 1990, it’s not. The cost of goods and services has gone through the roof. If you had 1 million dollars in 1990, it would be about 2.3 million today. But modest home in 1990 was about $90k, where today (in this market) it would be between $250k to $300k.

Here is a comparison of various goods and services costs from 1990 vs. 2023. 

Average Annual Income

1990: $33k per year

2023: $49k per year

Home Prices

1990: $90k

2023: $222k (with post Covid real estate market $250k to $300k)

Rent Prices

1990: $400 per month

2023: $1,500+ per month

Public College Tuition

1990: $1,800 per year

2023: $4,200 per year

Private College Tuition

1990: $8,400 per year

2023: $21,000 per year

Gas Prices

1990: $1.20/gallon

2023: $3.50 gallon

When it comes to food, it’s safe to say that food in 1990 cost 44% less in 1990 than it does today.