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How Much Did Things Cost in the 1980s?

Engelbert Reineke via Wikimedia Commons


The year: 1985. Reaganomics was in full swing, runaway inflation was finally easing, and the Dow Jones industrial average rose a whopping 27.7% to 1,546.67. It was the halfway point of the Decade of Greed.

But did the go-go economy and sizzling stock market mean everything cost more in the 1980s? Not necessarily.

We compared the prices of several everyday items in 1985 to today's prices to get a sense of how they've fared over the past three-plus decades -- both on an actual basis and on an inflation-adjusted basis. What we found might surprise you.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things That Will Soon Disappear Forever


Median costs for consumer goods were provided by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), unless noted otherwise. Inflation-adjusted prices were calculated using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' CPI Inflation Calculator.


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