Paper Money

Fed reveals fiscal year 2021 currency print orders

Bar graph details orders by denomination for Federal Reserve notes from Fiscal Year 2012 to FY 2021.

Graph provided by the Federal Reserve Bank.

The Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors approved and submitted its currency print order for the 2021 fiscal year to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on Aug. 14, 2020. It made the announcement without fanfare on Oct. 6.

The fiscal year began on Oct. 1, 2020, and will end on Sept. 30, 2021. The order, for 7,568,896 to 9,612,800 notes, is the largest in recent memory, and, says the board, “is heavily influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, as the Federal Reserve has experienced unprecedented demand for currency.”

The order is an increase of 1.7 billion to 3.8 billion notes, or 30.6% to 65.9%, from the final fiscal year 2020 order, that was revised twice because of the demand caused by COVID-19. In April 2020, the order was raised from 5.2 billion to 6.2 billion notes. Then, in collaboration with the BEP, the order was revised a second time on Aug. 3 down to 5.8 billion notes, with a change in the mix of denominations to better reflect actual demand.

The 2021 order is different from previous ones in that it is for a range of notes, rather than specific quantities. Also, for the first time since 2019, the order includes a request for from 38.4 million to 51.2 million pieces of the $2 denomination. Another difference, the board notes, is that “Unlike in past years when the major driver of the print order was replacement of unfit notes shredded at Reserve Banks, an increase in net payments drives the FY 2021 print order.”

The board further indicated that it and the BEP “will adjust production of each denomination within these ranges to best match available production with demand throughout the year.”

The initial order projects that the highest demand will be for the $20 note, the staple of ATM machines, followed in order by the $100, $1, $50, $5, $10, and $2 notes.


Print Order (000s of pieces)

Dollar value (000s)


709,120 to 1,030,400

$709,120 to $1,030,400


38,400 to 51,200

$76,800 to $102,400


419,200 to 467,200

$2,096,000 to $2,336,000


300,800 to 428,800

$3,008,000 to $4,288,000


3,107,200 to 3,968,000

$62,144,000 to $79,360,000


483,200 to 499,200

$24,160,000 to $24,960,000


2,482,176 to 3,196,800

$248,217,600 to $319,680,000


7,568,896 to 9,612,800

$341,237,120 to $430,931,200

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