Hundred dollar bills have become more common than the $1 denomination, according to the fiscal year 2010 production report of the nation’s paper money printer, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
During the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2010, the BEP churned out 1.9 billion $100 Federal Reserve Notes, some 50 million more than $1 FRNs.
How can that be?
One reason is that the output of $1 bills has dropped by more than half over the last four fiscal years. In FY2006, the BEP printed 4.5 billion $1s. At the same time production of $100 bills more than doubled.
Part of the reason for the soaring $100 bill output is that this was to be the year when a new more secure design was to be rolled out.
Unfortunately, production problems with the new bill left the BEP with a huge unusable stock of new notes.
A new date for the $100 bill introduction, postponed since February 2011, has yet to be established.
Only two other denominations were printed in FY2010, the $5 and the $20. No $2s, $10s or $50s came off the presses.
Of $5s, the BEP printed 352 million, down for a third year in a row. In FY2007, the BEP printed 1.4 billion.
For the $20, the number printed in FY2010 was 2.3 billion, triple the number printed the year before and the highest number since FY2005 when 3.1 billion were printed.