Historical Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U)

All dollar amounts in the MEPS are nominal dollars--that is, they are expressed in historical monetary terms and are not comparable between surveyed years due to inflation (or deflation). For example, $1 in 2009 is worth less than $1 in 1996. The MEPS variable CPI2009 provides an easy way to adjust dollar amounts to constant dollars. This variable, constant within years, inflates or deflates dollar amounts to the amount they would have represented in 2009 (which corresponds to the 2009 MEPS data)--as shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Converting Dollar Amounts to Constant 2009 Dollars Using CPI2009
MEPS Data Year Income Year X CPI2009 = 2009 dollars
1996 1996 dollars X 1.367 = 2009 dollars
1997 1997 dollars X 1.337 = 2009 dollars
1998 1998 dollars X 1.316 = 2009 dollars
1999 1999 dollars X 1.288 = 2009 dollars
2000 2000 dollars X 1.246 = 2009 dollars
2001 2001 dollars X 1.211 = 2009 dollars
2002 2002 dollars X 1.193 = 2009 dollars
2003 2003 dollars X 1.166 = 2009 dollars
2004 2004 dollars X 1.136 = 2009 dollars
2005 2005 dollars X 1.098 = 2009 dollars
2006 2006 dollars X 1.064 = 2009 dollars
2007 2007 dollars X 1.035 = 2009 dollars
2008 2008 dollars X 0.996 = 2009 dollars
2009 2009 dollars X 1 = 2009 dollars
2010 2010 dollars X 0.984 = 2009 dollars
2011 2011 dollars X 0.954 = 2009 dollars
2012 2012 dollars X 0.934 = 2009 dollars
2013 2013 dollars X 0.921 = 2009 dollars
2014 2014 dollars X 0.906 = 2009 dollars
2015 2015 dollars X 0.905 = 2009 dollars
2016 2016 dollars X 1.119 = 2009 dollars

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The 2009 base year (representing the 2009 MEPS data year) was chosen simply for convenience. Adjusting to some other year would yield identical correlations, regression coefficients, inequality measures, and the like. After using CPI2009 to convert nominal dollars to 2009 dollars, users who desire another base year for simple descriptive statistics can easily adjust 2009 dollars to 1939 dollars, 1949 dollars, or any other year by making use of the alternate factors provided in Table 2.

Table 2: Converting Constant 2009 Dollars to Constant Dollars For Another Base Year
2009 dollars X Alternate Factor = Income Year Data Year
2009 dollars X 0.731 = 1996 dollars 1996
2009 dollars X 0.748 = 1997 dollars 1997
2009 dollars X 0.760 = 1998 dollars 1998
2009 dollars X 0.777 = 1999 dollars 1999
2009 dollars X 0.803 = 2000 dollars 2000
2009 dollars X 0.825 = 2001 dollars 2001
2009 dollars X 0.839 = 2002 dollars 2002
2009 dollars X 0.858 = 2003 dollars 2003
2009 dollars X 0.881 = 2004 dollars 2004
2009 dollars X 0.910 = 2005 dollars 2005
2009 dollars X 0.940 = 2006 dollars 2006
2009 dollars X 0.966 = 2007 dollars 2007
2009 dollars X 1.004 = 2008 dollars 2008
2009 dollars X 1 = 2009 dollars 2009
2009 dollars X 1.016 = 2010 dollars 2010
2009 dollars X 1.048 = 2011 dollars 2011
2009 dollars X 1.070 = 2012 dollars 2012
2009 dollars X 1.086 = 2013 dollars 2013
2009 dollars X 1.103 = 2014 dollars 2014
2009 dollars X 1.105 = 2015 dollars 2015
2009 dollars X 0.894 = 2016 dollars 2016

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