The 1960s Versus Today
Take a walk down memory lane with a look at what things cost then versus now.

Money Matters

The sun always rises and so do the cost of items. In fact, the buying power of a dollar 50 years ago is now equivalent to $7.65. Take a walk down memory lane with these interesting facts about what things cost in the 1960s versus today.

Gas: In 1964, a gallon of gas was around $.25, while today it hovers at upwards of $3.50.

Cars: In 1960, the average cost of a new car was approximately $2,600, while today it’s above $30,000.

Groceries: The price of chicken was around $.29 per pound in the 1960s and costs approximately $1.54 per pound today. Ground beef went from an average of $.45 per pound to $4.13. Peanut butter used to cost approximately $.80 per jar, now it’s at $2.71.

Movies: In the 1960s it cost less than a dollar for a movie ticket. Today, admission is $10.

College: Once you adjust for inflation, the price of tuition has more than tripled from 1973 to 2013. For example, the tuition at the University of Pennsylvania was $1,200 in 1960, today it is $42,176.

Income: In 1960, the median annual family income was $5,620 versus $51,371 in 2012. Minimum wage went from $1.15 in 1964 to $7.25 (federal) beginning in 2009.

Homes: In 1963, the median price of a home was $18,000. Today, the median home price is around $215,000.

During the past 50 years, a number of things have also become nearly obsolete. For example: payphones. While they’re still seen in some places, in 2014, 90 percent of American adults now have a cell phone. Similarly, while typewriters are still around here and there, 2013 data says 64 percent of Americans own a laptop computer and 57 percent a desktop computer.

One thing that didn’t go away is the vinyl record, which cost less than a dollar for a single in the 1960s. In recent years, vinyl records have been making a comeback due to what many consider a superior sound. The hit TV show “Mad Men” has helped other 1960s’ trends make a comeback, including fashion and cocktails – which now come with a heftier price tag, of course.


Remembering What a Buck Could Buy in the 1960s –

Changing Times – Prices Then and Now –

Movies Unlimited – AARP Member Benefit –