Big variation in shortest- and longest-lived banknotes

Average lifespans range from 0.6 years to 20 years, with number of denominations playing key role

A central bank’s shortest-lived banknotes will typically be in circulation for around two years, while its most durable survive for seven and a half, according to Currency Benchmarks 2020 – but these median figures disguise much wider gaps within many central banks’ families of notes, and also between institutions.

This dispersion reveals that central banks are in very different starting places as they consider the trade-offs in switching to polymer – more expensive, but longer-lasting notes –

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