All About the Benjamins: The $100 Bill by the Numbers

In an attempt to thwart government counterfeiters, the government has designed a $100 bill even it can’t print correctly. The redesigned C-note’s February release had to be postponed after printing problems cause some bills to come out creased and partially blank. Here’s a look at current U.S. monies, by the numbers.

All About the Benjamins: The $100 Bill by the Numbers
Typography by Julie Teninbaum Typography by Julie Teninbaum

The U.S. makes 4.42 billion more $1 bills than $100 bills. That’s nearly 2x the number of $1 bills and 9x the number of $100 bills made 20 years ago.

1 out of every 10,000 U.S. bills in circulation is counterfeit.

90% of paper money has traces of cocaine on it. The amount ranges from .006 micrograms (thousands of times smaller than a grain of sand) to 1,240 micrograms (about 50 grains of sand).

The most-tracked bill on is a $1 note that’s traveled 4,191 miles in the three years it’s been tracked.

In 1910, there was $3.1 billion in circulation, about $34.07 per person in the U.S. Now, there’s $888.3 billion, about $2,893.42 per person. Roughly 4.3% of that value is from coins.

On billboard’s top rap singles chart of 1998, Puff Daddy’s song “It’s All About the Benjamins” hit no. 4.


The $5 bill has the shortest lifepsan, lasting on average just 16 months. That’s 8 months less than the typical $1 bill and 73 months less than the $100 bill, the longest-lasting note.

Only three nonpresidents grace the U.S. monies now in production: Benjamin Franklin {$100 bill}, Alexander Hamilton {$10 bill} and Sacagawea {$1 coin}.

It cost $120 million to manufacture the 1.1 billion new bills printed before production was halted in December. Wach redesigned bill includes a 3-D security ribbon with 650,000 “micro-lenses.”

Each coin costs 1.6¢ to make. Each coin costs .

2/3 of the 6.5 billion $100 bills in circulation are outside the U.S.

In 2009, the U.S. printed 26 million bills per day, adding up to $907 million.


The U.S. Mint lost $19.8 million making pennies in 2009 and $2.2 million making nickels.

A pre-1982 penny is 95% copper, now worth about 2.5¢. Today’s penny is 2.5% copper (the rest is zinc).

$46 million: the size of the contract with Crane & Co., the company making the newfangled security threads.

One of the biggest heists in history: On November 8, 2008, a global crime ring stole $9 million from 2,100 ATMs in 280 cities.

35% of all transactions in the U.S. happen in cash.