How Much Money is in the World?

How Much Money is in the World?


Have you ever wondered how much money there is globally? It’s a fascinating question that piques the curiosity of many. Understanding the total amount of money in the world can help us grasp the size and complexity of the global economy, and it’s a significant aspect of monetary economics.

Understanding Money

Money, in its simplest form, is anything commonly accepted by people for buying goods and selling services. It exists in various forms – physical cash and non-physical money, which includes digital currencies, bank accounts, etc.

The history of money dates back thousands of years ago, starting with barter systems, progressing to coins made from precious metals, then paper currency, and now digital forms.

How Money is Measured

Money is typically measured through monetary aggregates known as M0, M1, M2, and M3. Each represents different forms of money:

  • M0: Known as narrow money, includes physical notes, coins, and reserve balances that banks hold with their central bank.

  • M1: Includes M0 plus demand deposits like checking accounts.

  • M2: Includes M1 plus short-term time deposits in banks.

  • M3: Includes M2 plus long-term time deposits.

Another important measurement is Broad Money, which includes currency, coins, checking accounts, savings accounts, money market securities, mutual funds, and other time deposits.

The Amount of Physical Cash in the World

Estimating the total amount of physical cash worldwide isn’t an easy task due to continuous printing and destruction of old notes. However, according to estimates by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), there’s approximately $6.6 trillion worth of physical currency globally as of 2018.

The US Dollar takes up a significant portion of this amount – about 1.7 trillion according to the Federal Reserve. Other major currencies include the Euro, Japanese Yen, and Chinese Yuan, among others.

The Amount of Non-Physical Money

The total amount of non-physical money is even more challenging to calculate. Non-physical or digital money includes all kinds of assets from bank deposits to digital currencies like Bitcoin. The Global Money Supply measured as “broad money” was estimated at around $90.4 trillion by the CIA World Factbook in 2017.

Total Amount of Money in the World

When we combine physical cash and non-physical money, we get an astounding figure. According to the BIS and CIA World Factbook, the total amount of money in the world was around $97 trillion as of 2017.

However, this isn’t a static figure. The total amount of money keeps changing due to factors like monetary policy, economic growth, and technological advancements.

Interesting Facts about Money

Here are a few interesting tidbits related to the total amount of money in the world:

  • About 8% of the world’s currency exists as physical cash; the rest is digital.

  • If spread evenly, each person on Earth would have approximately $12,000.

  • The total amount of Bitcoin (a digital currency) in existence is capped at 21 million coins.


The total amount of money in the world is a complex topic due to its various forms and changing nature. While precise figures are hard to pin down, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of money out there.

Remember, money isn’t just physical cash – it’s also digital currencies, bank deposits, and other financial assets. And while knowing the total amount won’t make you richer, it does provide an interesting perspective on the vastness of our global economy.


Sources for this blog post include the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Federal Reserve, CIA World Factbook, and various other online resources. We encourage curious readers to delve deeper into this fascinating topic.

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