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Prices and Wages by Decade: 2000-2009

Links to government documents and primary sources listing retail prices for products and services, as well as wages for common occupations.

Wages in the United States, 2000-2009

Wages by occupation and industry 2000-2009

Wages by location for selected occupations, 2000-2009

Non-wage forms of income, 2000-2009

Prices in the United States, 2000-2009


In 2000, 34% of people aged 18-24 were enrolled in college (U.S. Census) and 25.6% of people aged 25 years or older completed 4 years (U.S. Census, Table A-2).

  • LEGO building toys, 2001 
    • Shows the prices for various accessories and building sets including some of the first Harry Potter sets, Jurassic Park, a video camera, Star Wars, sets for younger children, sets for less than $10, and many others. The catalog also lists prices for computer games, train sets, and replacements for lost parts.  
  • Video game consoles, 2001 
    • This article from the popular tech magazine PC Mag shows the prices for the best-selling video game consoles of the early 2000s, the Sony PlayStation 2 for $299, Microsoft's Xbox for $299, and Nintendo's GameCube for $199. 
  • PC Mag's Holiday gift guide, 2004 
    • Advertises the top electronic gifts for the 2004 Holiday Season. Items include the Apple iPod for $249.99, the recently-released Nintendo DS for $149.99, a portable video player, laptops (search by brand name in margins), home media players, cell phones, and more across more than 150 pages. Source: PC Mag, December 14, 2004.
  • Top DVD sales, 2005
    • This chart from Billboard magazine shows the prices for the top-selling DVDs for this week in January 2005. Prices range from $15 for films and up to $50 for TV series. Popular films include TitanicHarry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanShrek 2Spider-Man, and Troy. For other weeks and years, click "browse all issues" in the left sidebar. 

Inflation and buying power, 2000s

What is the Consumer Price Index (CPI)?

"The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of consumer goods and services" with respect to a given base year with value 100. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is inflation?

As measured with CPI, it is the percent change in the CPI between two different years, showing the "annual percentage change in the cost to the average consumer of acquiring a basket of goods and services". Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

CPI Inflation Formula: CPIx-1-CPIxCPIx*100

Quotable facts for the 2000-2009 decade

In the United States...

  • Minimum wage was $5.15 per hour in the year 2000. Source: U.S. Dept of Labor
  • The median money income for families in 2000 was $50,732. Source: Census Bureau
  • The average earnings of year-round, full-time workers in 2009 was $62,445 for men and $44,857 for women. Source: US Census Bureau
  • Homes had a median value of $119,600 in 2000. Source: US Census Bureau
  • Education at 4-year, public universities cost an average $9199 for tuition, fees, room & board in 2001-02. Source: U.S. Dept of Educatio
  • Child care cost an average $4,260 annually per family in 2001. Source: U.S. Congress
  • Coffee cost an average $3.50 per pound in 2000. Source: U.S. BLS
    • In the year 2000...
      • New cars cost an average $19,559. Source: U.S. BEA
      • Gas cost an average $1.51 per gallon. Source: U.S. EIA
      • There were more vehicles in the U.S. than licensed drivers (source)
      • 18.3% of U.S. households had 3 or more vehicles, compared to 2.5% in 1960. Source: U.S. DOE
    • In 2000, health care costs averaged $4,103 per person. Consumer out-of-pocket payments covered 16.7%.  Source: NCHS
    • Prescription drugs frequently used by Medicare beneficiaries increased in price 24% from 2000 to 2004.  Source: U.S. GAO

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Marie Concannon, Government Information Librarian
Government Documents Department, Ellis Library
University of Missouri, Columbia
Phone (573) 882-0748