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

Taylor Bell
·7 min read
DisobeyArt / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DisobeyArt / 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.

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. And minimum wage is currently a hot topic as Democrats try to raise it through a third stimulus bill, which has not yet been passed.

A Major Discrepancy: Here’s How Much Men vs. Women Earn at Every Age

In the meantime, several states and localities have taken it upon themselves to raise their own minimum wages. On June 24, Illinois, Nevada and Oregon all raised their minimum wages, USA Today reported. Illinois’ minimum wage rose from $9.25 to $10; Nevada’s minimum wage rose from $7.25 to $8 for workers with health insurance, and from $8.25 to $9 for those without health coverage; and Oregon’s minimum wage rose from $11.25 to $12. In addition, 18 municipalities and three counties announced minimum wage increases.

The rise in the minimum wage seems hopeful; however, due to inflation and the rising cost of living, that amount might not be enough in the future. Take a look at how minimum wage has dramatically morphed throughout the years.

Last updated: March 2, 2021

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1938

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $4.54

Exclusive: Americans’ Savings Drop to Lowest Point in Years

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1939

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.30

  • In 2020 dollars: $5.53

Read More: The Average Social Security Check the Year You Were Born

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1940

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.30

  • In 2020 dollars: $5.57

Find Out: Here’s How Much Teachers Make in Every State

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1941

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.30

  • In 2020 dollars: $5.49

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1942

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.30

  • In 2020 dollars: $4.93

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1943

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.30

  • In 2020 dollars: $4.58

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1944

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.30

  • In 2020 dollars: $4.45

Find Out: 100 Ways To Make Money Without a 9-to-5

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1945

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.40

  • In 2020 dollars: $5.80

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1946

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.40

  • In 2020 dollars: $5.67

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1947

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.40

  • In 2020 dollars: $4.80

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1948

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.40

  • In 2020 dollars: $4.35

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1949

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.40

  • In 2020 dollars: $4.30

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1950

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.75

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.23

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1951

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.75

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.62

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1952

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.75

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.30

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1953

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.75

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.27

Compare: This Is the Living Wage You Need in All 50 States

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1954

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.75

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.19

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1955

  • U.S. minimum wage: $0.75

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.25

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1956

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1

  • In 2020 dollars: $9.63

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1957

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1

  • In 2020 dollars: $9.35

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1958

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1

  • In 2020 dollars: $9.02

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1959

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.90

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1960

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.80

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1961

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $9.96

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11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1962

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $9.89

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1963

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.61

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1964

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.44

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1965

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.34

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1966

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.14

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1967

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.40

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.98

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1968

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.60

  • In 2020 dollars: $12.10

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1969

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.60

  • In 2020 dollars: $11.59

See: What Income Level Is Considered Middle Class in Your State?

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1970

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.60

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.92

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1971

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.60

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.37

chambermaid, hotel housekeeping
chambermaid, hotel housekeeping

1972

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.60

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.04

1973

  • U.S. minimum wage: $1.60

  • In 2020 dollars: $9.69

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1974

  • U.S. minimum wage: $2

  • In 2020 dollars: $11.07

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1975

  • U.S. minimum wage: $2.10

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.40

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1976

  • U.S. minimum wage: $2.30

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.67

96 Money-Making Skills You Can Learn in Less Than a Year, Fashion designer measuring a dress. Shallow depth of field.
96 Money-Making Skills You Can Learn in Less Than a Year, Fashion designer measuring a dress. Shallow depth of field.

1977

  • U.S. minimum wage: $2.30

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.14

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1978

  • U.S. minimum wage: $2.65

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.94

Get Your Happiness: This Is the Salary Needed To Be Happy in Every State

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1979

  • U.S. minimum wage: $2.90

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.95

11278, Horizontal, plumber
11278, Horizontal, plumber

1980

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.10

  • In 2020 dollars: $10.28

1981

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $9.93

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1982

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $9.16

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1983

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.84

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1984

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.48

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1985

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.19

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1986

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.89

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1987

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.77

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11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1988

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.47

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1989

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.35

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.14

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1990

  • U.S. minimum wage: $3.80

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.69

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1991

  • U.S. minimum wage: $4.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.15

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1992

  • U.S. minimum wage: $4.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.94

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1993

  • U.S. minimum wage: $4.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.69

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1994

  • U.S. minimum wage: $4.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.50

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1995

  • U.S. minimum wage: $4.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.29

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1996

  • U.S. minimum wage: $4.75

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.94

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1997

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.35

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1998

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.22

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

1999

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.09

Read More: How Do You Stack Up To the Average Income in Your State?

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2000

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.87

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2001

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.59

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2002

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.50

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2003

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.31

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2004

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.17

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2005

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $6.97

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2006

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.15

  • In 2020 dollars: $6.70

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2007

  • U.S. minimum wage: $5.85

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.46

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2008

  • U.S. minimum wage: $6.55

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.01

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2009

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.86

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2010

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.63

Take a Look: The GOP Wants a $10 Minimum Wage — How Does It Compare to $15 in the Real World?

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2011

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.49

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2012

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.25

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2013

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $8.12

waiter-resturant
waiter-resturant

2014

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $8

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2015

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $8

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2016

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.89

11278, Horizontal
11278, Horizontal

2017

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.70

Wait staff and kitchen staff working and serving customers over the counter in a fast food restaurant.
Wait staff and kitchen staff working and serving customers over the counter in a fast food restaurant.

2018

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.55

Starbucks-barista-customer
Starbucks-barista-customer

2019

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.43

11565, Horizontal, jobs, people
11565, Horizontal, jobs, people

2020

  • U.S. minimum wage: $7.25

  • In 2020 dollars: $7.25

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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