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Here’s What the US Minimum Wage Was the Year You Were Born

·6 min read
rez-art / Getty Images/iStockphoto
rez-art / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Although minimum wage is not nearly as low as it used to be, America still has a long way to go when it comes to compensating its workers. The federal minimum wage is currently at $7.25, a number that has stayed the same since 2009.

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But even with no recent changes from the federal government, things appear to be moving in the right direction. In July 2019, the U.S. House passed a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025, which could increase the incomes of 17 million to 27 million minimum wage workers, according to Bloomberg.

In the meantime, many states and localities are taking it upon themselves to increase their minimum wages. However, due to inflation and the rising cost of living, it might not be enough to sustain workers. Take a look at how minimum wage has dramatically morphed throughout the years.

iraua / Shutterstock.com
iraua / Shutterstock.com

1938

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $4.54

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Yulia Grigoryeva / Shutterstock.com
Yulia Grigoryeva / Shutterstock.com

1939

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.30

  • In 2020 dollars: $5.53

Kondor83 / Shutterstock.com
Kondor83 / Shutterstock.com

1940

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.30

  • In 2020 dollars: $5.57

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PointImages / Shutterstock.com
PointImages / Shutterstock.com

1941

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.30

  • In 2020 dollars: $5.49

AndreyPopov / istockphoto.com
AndreyPopov / istockphoto.com

1942

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.30

  • In 2020 dollars: $4.93

antoniotruzzi / istockphoto.com
antoniotruzzi / istockphoto.com

1943

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.30

  • In 2020 dollars: $4.58

Visionsi / Shutterstock.com
Visionsi / Shutterstock.com

1944

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.30

  • In 2020 dollars: $4.45

Eo naya / Shutterstock.com
Eo naya / Shutterstock.com

1945

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.40

  • In 2020 dollars: $5.80

g-stockstudio / istockphoto.com
g-stockstudio / istockphoto.com

1946

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.40

  • In 2020 dollars: $5.67

golubovy / istockphoto.com
golubovy / istockphoto.com

1947

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.40

  • In 2020 dollars: $4.80

PointImages / Shutterstock.com
PointImages / Shutterstock.com

1948

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.40

  • In 2020 dollars: $4.35

Harsanyi Andras / Shutterstock.com
Harsanyi Andras / Shutterstock.com

1949

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.40

  • In 2020 dollars: $4.30

Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com
Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

1950

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.75

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.23

Kichigin / Shutterstock.com
Kichigin / Shutterstock.com

1951

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.75

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.62

lOvE lOvE / Shutterstock.com
lOvE lOvE / Shutterstock.com

1952

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.75

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.30

Mocha.VP / Shutterstock.com
Mocha.VP / Shutterstock.com

1953

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.75

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.27

PenelopeB / istockphoto.com
PenelopeB / istockphoto.com

1954

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.75

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.19

PeopleImages / istockphoto.com
PeopleImages / istockphoto.com

1955

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.75

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.25

Kondor83 / Shutterstock.com
Kondor83 / Shutterstock.com

1956

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1

  • In 2020 dollars: $9.63

Kzenon / Shutterstock.com
Kzenon / Shutterstock.com

1957

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1

  • In 2020 dollars: $9.35

Nonwarit / Shutterstock.com
Nonwarit / Shutterstock.com

1958

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1

  • In 2020 dollars: $9.02

Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

1959

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.90

PK.pawaris / Shutterstock.com
PK.pawaris / Shutterstock.com

1960

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.80

cunaplus / Shutterstock.com
cunaplus / Shutterstock.com

1961

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $9.96

SolStock / istockphoto.com
SolStock / istockphoto.com

1962

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $9.89

Sturti / istockphoto.com
Sturti / istockphoto.com

1963

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.61

Topalov Djura / istockphoto.com
Topalov Djura / istockphoto.com

1964

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.44

www.BillionPhotos.com / Shutterstock.com
www.BillionPhotos.com / Shutterstock.com

1965

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.34

 

www.BillionPhotos.com / Shutterstock.com
www.BillionPhotos.com / Shutterstock.com

1966

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.14

Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

1967

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.40

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.98

Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

1968

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.60

  • In 2020 dollars: $12.10

AndreyPopov / istockphoto.com
AndreyPopov / istockphoto.com

1969

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.60

  • In 2020 dollars: $11.59

bikeriderlondon / Shutterstock.com
bikeriderlondon / Shutterstock.com

1970

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.60

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.92

create jobs 51 / Shutterstock.com
create jobs 51 / Shutterstock.com

1971

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.60

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.37

Shutterstock.com
Shutterstock.com

1972

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.60

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.04

AndreyPopov / iStock.com
AndreyPopov / iStock.com

1973

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.60

  • In 2020 dollars: $9.69

George Peters / istockphoto.com
George Peters / istockphoto.com

1974

  • U.S. minimum wage: $2

  • In 2020 dollars: $11.07

FangXiaNuo / istockphoto.com
FangXiaNuo / istockphoto.com

1975

  • U.S. minimum wage: $2.10

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.40

Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

1976

  • U.S. minimum wage: $2.30

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.67

Peter Bernik / Shutterstock.com
Peter Bernik / Shutterstock.com

1977

  • U.S. minimum wage: $2.30

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.14

lakov Filimonov / Shutterstock.com
lakov Filimonov / Shutterstock.com

1978

  • U.S. minimum wage: $2.65

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.94

Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

1979

  • U.S. minimum wage: $2.90

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.95

kurhan / Shutterstock.com
kurhan / Shutterstock.com

1980

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.10

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.28

Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

1981

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $9.93

IS_ImageSource / istockphoto.com
IS_ImageSource / istockphoto.com

1982

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $9.16

gilaxia / istockphoto.com
gilaxia / istockphoto.com

1983

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.84

Kali Nine LLC / istockphoto.com
Kali Nine LLC / istockphoto.com

1984

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.48

gilaxia / istockphoto.com
gilaxia / istockphoto.com

1985

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.19

sahilu / istockphoto.com
sahilu / istockphoto.com

1986

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.89

kadmy / istockphoto.com
kadmy / istockphoto.com

1987

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.77

EdStock / istockphoto.com
EdStock / istockphoto.com

1988

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.47

Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

1989

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.14

Minerva Studio / Shutterstock.com
Minerva Studio / Shutterstock.com

1990

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.80

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.69

Squaredpixels / istockphoto.com
Squaredpixels / istockphoto.com

1991

  • U.S. minimum wage: $4.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.15

withGod / Shutterstock.com
withGod / Shutterstock.com

1992

  • U.S. minimum wage: $4.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.94

sturti / istockphoto.com
sturti / istockphoto.com

1993

  • U.S. minimum wage: $4.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.69

Sergey Mironov / Shutterstock.com
Sergey Mironov / Shutterstock.com

1994

  • U.S. minimum wage: $4.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.50

Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com
Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

1995

  • U.S. minimum wage: $4.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.29

M_a_y_a / istockphoto.com
M_a_y_a / istockphoto.com

1996

  • U.S. minimum wage: $4.75

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.94

Leonardo Patrizi / istockphoto.com
Leonardo Patrizi / istockphoto.com

1997

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.35

Juanmonino / istockphoto.com
Juanmonino / istockphoto.com

1998

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.22

gilaxia / istockphoto.com
gilaxia / istockphoto.com

1999

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.09

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

2000

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.87

ferrerivideo / istockphoto.com
ferrerivideo / istockphoto.com

2001

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.59

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

2002

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.50

GaudiLab / Shutterstock.com
GaudiLab / Shutterstock.com

2003

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.31

andresr / istockphoto.com
andresr / istockphoto.com

2004

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.17

a katz / Shutterstock.com
a katz / Shutterstock.com

2005

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $6.97

Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

2006

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $6.70

kadmy / istockphoto.com
kadmy / istockphoto.com

2007

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.85

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.46

Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

2008

  • U.S. minimum wage: $6.55

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.01

everything possible / Shutterstock.com
everything possible / Shutterstock.com

2009

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.86

Pressmaster / Shutterstock.com
Pressmaster / Shutterstock.com

2010

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.63

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

2011

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.49

kurhan / Shutterstock.com
kurhan / Shutterstock.com

2012

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.25

shapecharge / istockphoto.com
shapecharge / istockphoto.com

2013

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.12

Shutterstock.com
Shutterstock.com

2014

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $8

g-stockstudio / Shutterstock.com
g-stockstudio / Shutterstock.com

2015

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $8

a katz / Shutterstock.com
a katz / Shutterstock.com

2016

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.89

Page Light Studios / Shutterstock.com
Page Light Studios / Shutterstock.com

2017

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.70

YinYang / iStock.com
YinYang / iStock.com

2018

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.55

Yaoinlove / Shutterstock.com
Yaoinlove / Shutterstock.com

2019

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.43

ChickenStock Images / Shutterstock
ChickenStock Images / Shutterstock

2020

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.25

Chase Brock / GOBankingRates.com
Chase Brock / GOBankingRates.com

2021

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

AndreyPopov / Getty Images/iStockphoto
AndreyPopov / Getty Images/iStockphoto

2022

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

More From GOBankingRates

Gabrielle Olya and Amen Oyiboke-Osifo contributed to the reporting for this article.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Here’s What the US Minimum Wage Was the Year You Were Born