The dollar bill: believe it or not

February 17, 2021

By Paul Brucker

The dollar bill: believe it or not

How long is the dollar bill

A dollar is the basic monetary unit in the United States. But how much do you know about it? Consider these facts:

  1. It’s composed of a blend that’s 25% linen and 75% cotton. That’s so the dollar is difficult to counterfeit and won’t crumble in the wash. 
  2. The one dollar bill has an average life span in circulation of 6.6 years according to the Federal Reserve. Compare that to the $100 bill, which has an average life span of 22.9 years because it doesn’t pass between users as frequently. 
  3. It costs the U.S. government 7.7 cents to produce a dollar bill. The government prints about 38 million notes each day (mostly to replace bills that are torn, soiled or otherwise unusable). 
  4. The dollar bill weighs in at 1 gram and is .0043 inches thick. Take out a ruler and measure it – you’ll find it's 2.61 inches wide and 6.14 inches long.
  5. One dollar bills account for 31% of all currency the United States produces. 
  6. There are about 12.7 billion one dollar bills in circulation, 1.3 billion in two dollar bills, 3.2 billion in five dollar bills, 2.1 billion in ten dollar bills, 9.5 billion in twenty dollar bills and 14.2 billion in one hundred dollar bills in circulation.
  7. The government recycles 90% of all the dollar bills it shreds. Some end up in souvenir bags for visitors to Federal Reserve Banks. Some of it is used by power plants for fuel and by manufacturers of goods, such as cellulose insulation for homes. And some is composted to fertilize plants, such as trees. “Our staff likes to tell visitors that money doesn’t grow on trees, but can help trees grow,” says Federal Reserve Bank spokesman Bill Medley.

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