Egg Prices By Year And Adjusted For Inflation

The average price for one dozen eggs was $1.63 in March 2021 compared to $1.60 in February, data released April 13 by the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows. Averaging the BLS’s monthly pricing data, the cost of a dozen eggs went up to $1.51 in 2020 from $1.40 in 2019, representing a 7.9% increase.

Eggs are a favored breakfast food. Americans devour about 279 per year per person, The Washington Post reported in 2019. Given their popularity, it is enlightening to compare their prices over the years. It is just as interesting to see those prices adjusted for inflation — not overall inflation mind you, but inflation tagged directly to eggs (more about the former later).

The first column in the following table lists average annual prices for eggs and the last column shows those prices adjusted for inflation in 2020 dollars.

Inflation Adjusted Egg Prices (Years 1980-2020)

Category: Eggs (Grade A, Large, Per Dozen)

Year Average Egg Prices by Year* Average Annual CPI for Egg** Egg Prices Adjusted for Inflation in 2020 Dollars
1980 $0.84 88.6 $2.02
1981 $0.90 95.9 $1.99
1982 $0.87 93.3 $1.98
1983 $0.89 97.7 $1.94
1984 $1.00 109.1 $1.95
1985 $0.80 91.000 $1.87
1986 $0.87 97.200 $1.90
1987 $0.78 91.500 $1.81
1988 $0.79 93.600 $1.79
1989 $1.00 118.500 $1.79
1990 $1.01 124.100 $1.73
1991 $0.99 121.200 $1.74
1992 $0.86 108.300 $1.69
1993 $0.91 117.100 $1.65
1994 $0.86 114.300 $1.60
1995 $0.92 120.500 $1.62
1996 $1.11 142.100 $1.66
1997 $1.06 140.000 $1.61
1998 $1.04 135.400 $1.63
1999 $0.96 128.100 $1.59
2000 $0.91 131.900 $1.47
2001 $0.93 136.400 $1.45
2002 $1.03 138.200 $1.58
2003 $1.24 157.300 $1.68
2004 $1.34 167.000 $1.71
2005 $1.22 144.100 $1.80
2006 $1.31 151.200 $1.84
2007 $1.68 195.291 $1.83
2008 $1.99 222.708 $1.90
2009 $1.66 190.024 $1.86
2010 $1.66 192.833 $1.83
2011 $1.77 210.492 $1.79
2012 $1.84 217.141 $1.80
2013 $1.91 224.219 $1.81
2014 $2.02 242.990 $1.77
2015 $2.47 286.232 $1.83
2016 $1.68 225.979 $1.58
2017 $1.47 204.454 $1.53
2018 $1.74 226.595 $1.63
2019 $1.40 203.867 $1.46
2020 $1.51 212.542 $1.51

*Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Annual Average for Eggs, grade A, large, per doz. in U.S. city average, average price, not seasonally adjusted. CPI Average Price Data.

**Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Annual Average for Eggs in U.S. city average, all urban consumers, not seasonally adjusted. CPI-All Urban Consumers.

Eggs in the CPI

Eggs are one of many food items tracked by the BLS for calculating the overall rate of inflation in the U.S. and in creating the closely-watched Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Egg Prices and Overall Inflation

When considering the sheer number of other goods and services monitored for pricing changes as a part of building the large-encompassing CPI, eggs play a very small role in the overall picture.

Some inflation comparisons are again interesting — those for eggs, like in the table above, and those within the bigger landscape. For example, using the data above for eggs themselves, the cost of one dozen rose from an average of $1.01 in 1990 to $1.51 in 2020, registering an increase of 79.8% in 30 years.

We can use the same numbers on this site’s Inflation Calculator to see how they stand against overall inflation, which encompasses thousands of items — not just eggs — and their pricing changes over time. Using the same $1.01 amount for 1990, the calculator shows overall inflation adjusts the amount to $2 in 2020, for a 98% increase.

In short, the rate of egg price increases ran slower than overall inflation during the 30-year period.

How to Adjust Egg Prices for Inflation

In calculating egg prices to adjust for inflation, we’ll use an example of their average price in 1980 and adjust that to 2020 dollars. First, consider these facts from the table above:

  • The average annual price for Eggs in 1980 was $2.78 per gallon.
  • The annual average CPI for Eggs in 1980 was 156.900.
  • The annual average CPI for Eggs in 2020 was 212.621.

The following formula shows how to adjust egg prices for inflation:

1980 Eggs Price x (2020 CPI for Eggs / 1980 CPI for Eggs) = Adjusted Eggs Price in 2020 Dollars

Using the actual numbers:

$0.84 x (212.542/88.6) = $2.02