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The Average Social Security Check the Year You Were Born

Joel Anderson
·9 mins read

Social Security has long been a cornerstone of American democracy. However, it has also undergone some dramatic changes in the over 80 years since its passage. While the core program remains unchanged — using present-day payroll taxes to provide cash payments to retirees — it has slowly become more and more connected to American society over the years, growing all the while to the enormous benefit you see today.

But just how much have those benefits been worth? The truth is, the Social Security checks your great grandparents might have been receiving in the 1950s were much smaller. Even after accounting for inflation, benefits have tripled in size over the last 70 years.

So here’s a look at how benefits have changed over the decades, should there be some valuable lessons in Social Security’s past to tell us about what to expect from its future.

Last updated: Sept. 18, 2020

1950

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $43.86

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $471.54

1951

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $42.14

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $421.56

1952

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $49.25

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $477.93

1953

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $51.10

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $494.03

1954

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $59.14

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $569.64

1955

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $61.90

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $598.45

1956

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $63.09

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $596.59

1957

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $64.58

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $591.26

Be Aware: 11 Social Security Mistakes That Can Cost You a Fortune

1958

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $66.35

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $592.81

1959

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $72.78

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $645.80

1960

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $74.04

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $648.10

1961

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $75.65

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $653.37

1962

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $76.19

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $651.52

1963

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $76.88

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $648.85

1964

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $77.57

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $646.25

1965

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $83.92

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $688.09

1966

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $84.35

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $672.47

Worth Checking Out: 20 Best Places To Live on Only a Social Security Check

1967

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $85.37

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $662.26

1968

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $98.86

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $733.95

1969

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $100.40

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $706.90

1970

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $118.10

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $784.61

1971

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $132.17

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $841.41

1972

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $162.35

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,003.94

1973

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $166.42

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $973.35

1974

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $188.21

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $987.15

1975

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $207.18

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $990.42

1976

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $224.86

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,020.34

Find Out: 16 Ways People Survived Before Social Security — Could You Do It?

1977

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $243.00

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,032.16

1978

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $263.20

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,037.98

1979

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $294.30

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,043.14

1980

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $341.40

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,069.61

1981

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $385.97

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,091.76

1982

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $419.30

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,114.27

1983

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $440.77

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,143.18

Helpful: 20 Tips To Live Comfortably Off Just a Social Security Check

1984

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $460.57

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,146.34

1985

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $478.62

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,150.38

1986

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $488.44

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,155.76

1987

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $512.65

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,167.21

1988

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $536.77

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,173.65

1989

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $566.85

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,180.64

1990

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $602.56

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,197.27

1991

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $629.32

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,197.19

1992

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $652.64

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,203.56

1993

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $674.06

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,209.48

1994

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $697.34

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,217.53

See: 35 Countries Where Your Social Security Check Goes Furthest

1995

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $719.80

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,222.96

1996

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $744.96

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,229.43

1997

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $774.84

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,250.85

1998

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $779.69

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,237.86

1999

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $804.30

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,250.12

2000

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $844.48

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,266.24

2001

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $874.44

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,276.44

2002

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $895.00

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,287.59

2003

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $922.08

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,299.14

2004

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $954.89

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,306.30

2005

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $1,002.00

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,328.66

2006

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $1,044.40

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,329.75

2007

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $1,078.60

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,341.66

Take a Look: The Rich Are Costing Social Security Billions a Year

2008

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $1,152.90

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,358.03

2009

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $1,164.30

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,400.84

2010

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $1,175.50

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,397.05

2011

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $1,228.57

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,409.00

2012

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $1,261.61

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,426.79

2013

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $1,293.83

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,435.10

2014

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $1,328.58

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,444.85

2015

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $1,341.77

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,456.73

2016

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $1,360.13

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,464.55

2017

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $1,404.15

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,486.26

2018

  • Average monthly Social Security payment that year: $1,461.31

  • Average monthly Social Security payment in 2020 dollars: $1,502.45

More From GOBankingRates

Photos are for representational purposes only and therefore may not be from the year listed — instead they may represent a person, event, etc. that was in the news that year.

Methodology: For this piece GOBankingRates used the Social Security Administration’s “Annual Statistical Supplement, 2019” to find the average Social Security Check the year you were born. Using this report, GOBankingRates referenced Table 3.C4—Average monthly amount of Social Security (OASDI) to find: (1) the average monthly Social Security payment for retired workers (amount at the time), and then used the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI inflation calculator to find the (2) average monthly Social Security payment for retired workers (2020 dollars) for the years 1950 through 2018. All data was collected on and up to date as of Sept. 8, 2020.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The Average Social Security Check the Year You Were Born