When people think about cash currency in the United States they most often think of the most popular denominations: $1, $5, $10, $20, and maybe, wistfully, $100. Hardly anyone these days thinks of or remembers the $2 bill. Most people think $2 bills are a thing of the past and that they are no longer in circulation. Those assumptions are wrong.
The $2 Bill
According to a CNN Business article, “The Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) will print up to 204 million $2 bills this year, based on an annual order from the Federal Reserve System. There were 1.4 billion $2 bills in circulation in 2020, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve.”
That being said, the $2 bill accounts for a mere drop in the bucket of the $2 trillion worth of currency in circulation in the U.S – only 0.001%.
It’s unfortunate that Americans largely misunderstand the $2 bill as it is very handy to have when making small denomination purchases. And while the BEP doesn’t need to request the printing of new $2 bills each year, it still is in active circulation. The bills just tend to last longer because they are used less often.
There are, however, $2 loyalists. According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. Air Force pilots who fly U-2 spy planes keep a $2 in their flight suit.
Additionally, supporters point to the fact that it costs about half the funds for the BEP to print a $2 than a higher denomination. This is largely due to costlier security features that are printed on higher denominations. Also, the Treasury Department can print twice as many $2 bills than $1 bills representing the same value.
With all of those sound reasons why $2 bills are more efficient and, frankly, fun to use, let’s hope that a trend takes off to start using the $2 more regularly.
Here’s to the $2s!