Federal Reserve Orders 7.6 Billion Banknotes for 2016

by Mike Unser on October 23, 2015 · 9 comments

$1, $2 and $5 notes

The Fed has ordered nearly 7.6 billion banknotes for 2016. The number of $2s ordered is sharply higher than in recent years.

U.S. money production for 2016 is expected to reach nearly 7.6 billion notes valued at more than $213.3 billion. Most of the bills will be $1s, $20s and $100s.

The numbers come from an order approved and submitted by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the issuing authority for U.S. banknotes. They reflect the Board’s estimate of net demand for currency in FY 2016 from both domestic and international customers.

Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) produces all Federal Reserve notes, and the order includes currency set aside for use in products for money collectors.

A majority of the notes needed are to replace those already in or taken out of circulation. Many banknotes each year are destroyed because their condition no longer meets the criteria for recirculation. Based on Fed estimates, about 70% of the new notes for 2016 will be replacements. That actually marks a significant decline. The replacement estimate was up at 85% for the 7.2 billion notes ordered in 2015. Improved technology accounts for at least a portion the decrease.

"New fitness and authentication sensors at the Reserve Banks have resulted in fewer notes being prematurely destroyed. Between 2011 and 2015, the Reserve Banks replaced all fitness and authentication sensors with new state-of-the-art sensors," the Fed points out. "The implementation of this new sensor suite decreased destruction rates by more than two percentage points and reduced the number of notes destroyed by nearly 0.5 billion, annually."

Cost of Making Federal Reserve Notes

The BEP cost of producing money varies by banknote. Government figures for 2015 show production costs per denomination at:

  • 4.9 cents for each $1 and $2.
  • 10.9 cents for every $5.
  • 10.3 cents per $10.
  • 10.5 cents for each $20 and $50.
  • 12.3 cents for every $100.

Many more $2 Bills in 2016

Orders for $2s are sharply higher than in recent years, though they still pale in comparison to other denominations. The 2016 order has $2s at 179,200,000 notes. Compare that to order tallies of 32,000,000 in 2015 and 44,800,000 in 2014. None were printed in 2013.

Here is a table showing how the Fed’s order breaks down by face value, quantity and dollar value:

2016 Federal Reserve Note Print Order

Denomination Number of Notes
(000s of pieces)
Dollar Value
(000s of dollars)
$1 2,425,600 $2,425,600
$2 179,200 $358,400
$5 819,200 $4,096,000
$10 480,000 $4,800,000
$20 1,939,200 $38,784,000
$50 224,000 $11,200,000
$100 1,516,800 $151,680,000
Total 7,584,000 $213,344,000

 

For comparison purposes, here is a table showing the Fed’s FY 2015 order:

2015 Federal Reserve Note Print Order

Denomination Number of Notes
(000s of pieces)
Dollar Value
(000s of dollars)
$1 2,451,200 $2,451,200
$2 32,000 $64,000
$5 755,200 $3,776,000
$10 627,200 $6,272,000
$20 1,868,800 $37,376,000
$50 220,800 $11,040,000
$100 1,276,800 $127,680,000
Total 7,232,000 $188,659,200

 

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces Federal Reserve notes from two facilities, with one in Fort Worth, TX and the other in Washington, DC. According to the BEP, there was approximately $1.39 trillion in circulation as of Sept. 30, 2015, of which $1.34 trillion was in Federal Reserve notes.

The BEP operates on a fiscal year that begins on October 1 and ends on September 30.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve October 23, 2015 at 10:53 am

Umm, its Million, not BILLION…notes…

Mike Unser (CoinNews.net) October 23, 2015 at 11:12 am

It’s billions… The BEP actually averaged a print run last year of nearly 25 million notes every day, according to their data.

I edited the table section headers above to better describe the quantities/values. Sorry, I should have done that from the start.

Ed October 23, 2015 at 3:26 pm

Why would 1’s and 2’s and cost so little and the larger notes cost more?

Dale October 23, 2015 at 9:54 pm

Mike
32000 2 dollar bills printed for 2015 ?

Munzen October 24, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Ed: Higher-denomination notes have modern anti-counterfeiting features (e.g. embedded UV strips, color-shifting ink, etc.) while the technology of $1 and $2 bills is essentially the same as it was in the 1920s.

That said, I’m both surprised and pleased to see the sharp increase in $2 bill production. It’s never made any sense to need up to four $1 bills for making change when it would be more efficient to use half as many twos. What we’ve got now is sort of like having only $10 and $50 bills but not 20s, or dimes and half dollars but not quarters (…. or 20¢ pieces, but after all we still have to maintain compatibility with Spanish milled dollars, haha!)

RonnieBGood October 25, 2015 at 5:09 pm

You would think that the BEP would have added the security to the one dollar bill long ago. Forgery has been achieved by bleaching out the 1 bill (to use the special fibered paper) and then printing an older version of the $100 dollar bill on it.

Joe October 25, 2015 at 11:01 pm

Hope they have the 30% there not replaceing.

Whistler October 26, 2015 at 5:00 pm

Can we say, inflation, $$ value going down like a lead weight with the #s they make…….but well supported & backed up by future Syrian Immigrant earnings…..

Munzen October 27, 2015 at 10:49 am

Ronnie: Our fantastically responsive and efficient Congress has legally forbidden making any changes whatsoever to the $1 bill. In addition they’ve acceded to Crane Paper’s lobbying efforts by putting roadblocks in the way of any serious effort to save money through wider use of $1 coins, even though the savings from using dollar coins and $2 bills would more than cover Crane’s lost monopoly profits with plenty left over for us taxpayers.

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