How Long is a Dollar Bill Around? Here’s The Lifespan of a One Dollar Bill

How long do those filthy, overly-used, disease-ridden, cocaine-encrusted (you know I’m joking, right?) one dollar bills last? The lifespan of a one dollar bill is a bit longer than you might expect.

Before you read the weekly infographic below take a look at this Federal Reserve website’s graph of the lifespan of U.S. paper money.

How Long is a Dollar Bill Around?

Do you want to know what the absolutely absurd thing is? It states that dollar bills last on average 5.9 years before they are destroyed. I was surprised to read that $5, $10, and $50 bills have a shorter life expectancy. Even stranger: the company that puts the infographic below together sites the Federal Reserve as a source (click on The Lifespan of a One Dollar Bill Infographic yourself to see). Further, you’ll see that they have very different numbers for how long dollar bills last.

how long is a dollar bill

Do you know what’s even crazier?? That $2 bills are still in circulation! Apparently it’s an absolute myth that $2 dollar bills are no longer minted–but they are. Just in very low quantities. Furthering the rarity of seeing a two dollar bill is that people often hold onto them thinking they are something of value. But the Fed says that they are essentially worthless–well at least not worth more than two dollars.

As I cited earlier, “the lifespan of a dollar bill” info below is suspect. It makes me question the rest of the infographic, and really any other infographic I read. Even still, the “facts” below on how long do dollar bills last are still pretty interesting, if they hold to be true.

Take a look! It tells the life and death-and even spared execution-of U.S. paper currency.


Click here and check out our full list of Financial Infographics!

For more on this, also check out’s listing of 17 bills in your wallet worth more than face value.

And for even more, Might Bargain Hunter has a great article on which the value of dollar bills with trinary serial numbers.  You may have some of these, they’re valuable.

How to Make More Money: Side Hustle
Ways To Make More Money: Part Two
How to Become Wealthy