How Much Does It Cost to Make a Dollar?

In 2008, the cost to make a US Dollar (USD) was $0.064 USD — or 6.4 cents. In 2010, that increased 50 percent to $0.096 USD per bill. The cost of producing one type of US bank note does not necessarily apply to all bank notes. Factors such as the volume produced of each note can affect the average cost per finished bill. A comparison with other nations in producing paper currency is difficult, because many nations do not provide information on their production costs.

More facts about US paper currency production:

  • Although US bills usually are referred to as paper currency, the US Dollar and other notes are actually produced using cotton. An increase in the price of cotton is why the cost of producing US notes in 2010 rose to $0.096 USD per bill.

  • Changes in currency production led to the creation of a new budget by the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing that went into effect in 2011. Under the new plan, $1 USD and $2 USD notes are expected to cost on average $0.055 USD per note, and $5 USD and $10 USD notes would cost $0.099 USD per note. The most expensive notes to produce, according to this budget, are the $20 USD and $50 USD notes, with a budgeted production cost of $0.109 USD per note.

  • Although notes of larger denominations were produced in the past, the Department of the Treasury has not issued any notes higher than the $100 USD bill since the late 1960s.

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