Money

How Big is Money?

How BIG is Currency?

With the advent of online payment systems and the rise of debit cards, physical currency may seem like a relic of a bygone era. But right now, there’s still a lot of it going around.

Let’s examine how the total amount of United States, Euro, Yen, and total worldwide currency actually looks. Spoiler alert: it’s big.

The Dollar

The United States dollar is the world's most traded currency, with 2.33 trillion dollars circulating in coinage and notes.1, 2

So, how big is a dollar?

Stacked together, the 54.1 billion notes currently in circulation would take up 1.8 million cubic feet of space.3, 4

That amount of currency would fill 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools...5

...and would fill the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in the US Capital two-and-a-half times over.5

Keep exploring! Click on another currency below to discover its true size.

The Euro

The Euro is the second most popular traded currency in the world, and the most popular in Europe.2

There are 14.4 billion €50 notes in circulation.

So, how big is the Euro? At 16.7 square inches each, all the €50 notes could almost completely cover Washington D.C.6,7,8

or half of Dublin...8

...or Disney World 1.5 times over.8,9

Keep exploring! Click on another currency below to discover its true size.

The Yen

The Japanese yen is third most traded currency in the world, and the most popular in Asia.2

So, how big is the yen?

There are 18.5 billion ¥ banknotes in circulation, long enough to circle the globe about 72 times...10

could climb Mount Fuji 491 times...10

...or go to the moon and back 4 times.10

Keep exploring! Click on another currency below to discover its true size.

Total Worldwide

There’s a name for the total amount of actual currency stuffed into people’s pockets, lost in couch cushions, and stored in bank vaults. Economists call it M0.19

So, what’s the M0 for entire planet? Something close to $8.275 trillion.11

Turns out that $5 trillion, or M0, takes up a lot of space. But we have to do a bit of abstracting to properly visualize it.

Let's assume that $8.275 trillion comes to us in $100 bills.

It would weigh 3.5 times as much as the Statue of Liberty.12,13

It would cover the Grand Canyon 11,000 times over...14

...and laid end-to-end, that M0 measure of $100 bills would circle all of planet Earth 322 times.15

Now that's a lot of dough.

Keep exploring! Click on another currency below to discover its true size.

Sources

  1. Investopedia.com, May 9, 2023
  2. FederalReserve.gov, February 22, 2024
  3. Wikipedia.org, 2024
  4. FederalReserve.gov, 2024
  5. TheMeasureofThings.com, 2024
  6. ECB.eu, 2024
  7. ECB.eu, 2024
  8. TheMeasureofThings.com, 2024
  1. Any companies mentioned are for illustrative purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities.
  2. BOJ.jp, 2024
  3. GoBankingRates.com, March 16, 2023
  4. USCurrency.gov, 2024
  5. TheMeasureofThings.com, 2024
  6. NPS.gov, 2024
  7. Wikipedia.org, 2024

Have A Question About This Topic?

Thank you! Oops!

Related Content

Medicare At 65+

Medicare At 65+

65 or older? It may be time to enroll in Medicare. Read to learn if you’re eligible.

Understanding the Basics of Medigap Policies

Understanding the Basics of Medigap Policies

Important as it is, Medicare does not cover the full range of health-care expenses you may experience in your golden years.

Buying Auto Insurance For Teen Drivers

Buying Auto Insurance For Teen Drivers

Tips on insuring your teen driver.