All the recent talk of a coin shortage in the United States got me curious. How many coins has the U.S. Mint produced in the past 100 years?
This is a very interesting data visualization in that it gives you the total amount of coins produced as well as the amount produced per year dating back to 1921.
Intuitively you would expect the demand for coins to grow each year as the population grows, but the production of U.S. coinage is actually rather sporadic. The peak coin production occurred in the year 200 and was stimulated by the reintroduction of a $1 coin. The $1 coin and the 50 cent coin are the two coins that are not produced consistently every year. The penny, nickel, dime, and quarter have been consistently produced nearly every year of the U.S. Mint’s operations, with the only exceptions being the great depression years where coins were not produced in significant amounts.
28 billion coins were produced in the year 2000, which is the highest production year in history. Compare that to 1933 where only 22 million coins were produced which marks the low point of U.S. coin production.
As you would expect, the penny is the most circulated coin with over 530 billion currently in circulation. What might surprise you is that the dime is actually the #2 most circulated coin, with nearly double as many coins produced as the nickel. In fact, there are 96 billion quarters in circulation and only 66 billion nickels.
The total value of all 816 billion U.S. coins is $169.541 billion dollars.