How Much Did It Cost in the 1980s?

How Much Did It Cost in the 1980s?

Below, you can view statistics that compare price in the 1980s with current prices today, but first let’s backtrack to the culture and events of 1985.

1985 was a good year, not just to document the differences in the cost of living back then compared to 2012, but to look back at the amazing music, culture and events that happened.

For instance, I didn’t know that there was an 8.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico City that killed 9,000 people.

And for some reason, there were a lot of jetliners hijacked in 1985. Also, the first Mobile Phone Call was made in the United Kingdom by Ernie Wise.

Popular Music and MTV was vastly popular throughout the 80s, but in 1985 Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie’s song, “We Are The World” (featuring major American Pop/Rock/R&B artists), was at the top of the charts. And other artists from Duran Duran, Madonna, Simple Minds, The Cure and Bruce Springsteen were big back then.

On the movie front, prominent films include Back To The Future, The Color Purple, and The Breakfast Club.

All in all, 1980s was a happening and eventful decade. But it’s more interesting to see how inflation and the cost of living has changed between now and then.

Comparing 1985 and 2012

Product 1985 2012
Median Household Income $23,618 $50,054
Minumum Wage $3.35 $7.25
1st Class Postage Stamp $0.20 $0.45
1 Gallon of Regular Gasoline $1.20 $3.50
1 Gallon of Milk $2.26 $3.50
Movie Tickets $3.55 $8.00
Avg Price of a House $100,800 $299,000
A Dozen Eggs $0.80 $2.00

Further Reading

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Carlos Rull

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and

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