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Loose Change

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A new survey estimates that $7.7 billion of out-of-circulation change is sitting in American households. According to the “Coinstar National Currency Poll – A Periodic Look at Americans and Their Money”, the typical American consumer has a stash of change valued at approximately $30. Coinstar, a manufacturer of a self-service coin counting machine and sponsor of the study, says the U.S. is in midst of a penny shortage. The study concludes that two-thirds of Americans do not regularly re-circulate their pennies. More than 1,000 consumers polled indicated that a penny is the denomination they use least. Only 4% of Americans said they use the penny more often than other denominations of coins. The survey also shows why higher value coin denominations, such as the quarter, experience fewer shortages. The quarter is the most popular coin in America, with 87% of respondents saying it is the coin they use most often. It is this frequency of use that helps to keep the coin in active circulation. To date, penny shortages have been reported in several areas of the United States. Those areas include Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Chicago; New York City; Albany, New York; St. Louis, Missouri; and Cleveland, Ohio. For more information www.coinstar.com.

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