What were average prices in 1985?


A dollar in 1985 is the equivalent of $2.03 today, so all sorts of things were cheaper then when compared to now. A house that cost $84,300 in 1985 would cost $171,423 as of 2014.

In 1985, the average car was priced at about $9,005, and gas to power it was just $1.24 per gallon, compared with May 2014's average price of $3.64 per gallon. Mailing a letter with a first class stamp from the U.S. Postal Service was just 22 cents in 1985; 2014's price for a postage stamp is more than double that — 49 cents. Bread was 74 cents a loaf, and milk was around $1.98 a gallon. Although these prices seem incredibly cheap, keep in mind that the average income in 1985 was $12,747 — so while things may have cost less, people made less money. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the federal minimum wage in 1985 under the Fair Labor Standards Act was just $3.35 an hour, although it was boosted in 1990 to $3.80 an hour. May 2014's federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, so as wages go up, prices and the cost of living generally follow suit.

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