Money is the medium of exchange for goods and services. It doesn’t literally make the world go around, but the economies of countries rely on the exchange of money for products and services.

Money transformed the entire idea of the barter system. A medium of exchange for goods and services for centuries, money keeps matters of the world in a flow, helps countries exchange goods and services and develops friendly relationships.

How to Define ‘Money’

Typically, every country has a central bank that regulates and publishes the money supply data in coordination with the government.

In the present world, money is present in various forms: physical – coins, notes – and virtual – electronic bank accounts, cryptocurrencies. This makes it hard to determine how much money exists.

How Much Money is Spent Each Day?

Photo Saudi Scoop
Photo Saudi Scoop

Every day, billions of dollars flow through the global economy in the form of transactions between individuals, businesses, and governments. While it is impossible to know the exact amount of money that changes hands each day, economists have developed estimates based on data from central banks and other sources.

According to one estimate, around $5 trillion is spent globally each day. This figure includes both personal consumption and business investment, as well as government spending on things like infrastructure and defense. While the exact magnitude of daily spending may be difficult to pin down, there is no doubt that it represents a huge flow of economic activity.

How Many Categories of Money?

We will start by establishing the amount of money supply circulating in the economies of the world. To put simply, they include the following:

• banknotes and coins in bank vaults;

• money in the hands of the world population;

• funds in deposits;

• term deposits;

• traveler's checks;

• credit cards.

What Are Different Types of Money?

Money is generally divided into different types of “Ms.” The range starts at the narrowest with M0 and goes up to the broadest, M3, following the central bank’s policy-making. The central bank in the USA is the Federal Reserve System, which publishes data based on four Ms:

The first way to look at it might be, "How much cash is there in U.S. currency?" If you took all the bills and coins floating around today in the world and added them all up, how much money would you have? All that hard and easily liquidated currency is known as the M0 money supply or monetary base. This includes the bills and coins in people's pockets and mattresses, the money on hand in bank vaults and all the deposits those banks have at reserve banks [source: Hamilton]. According to the Federal Reserve, there was $5.8 trillion in the M0 supply stream as of March 2021, the most recent data available.

That sounds like an incredible amount, but think about it this way: According to the U.S. Census, there were 332,290,964 people alive in the U.S. in May 2021. If you took all the cash and divided it up equally, each person should have about $17,454 in cash on them (or stuffed under the mattress). Obviously, there's some money missing, but there's an easy explanation for that: The Federal Reserve says that at any given time, between one-half and two-thirds of the M0 money stock of U.S. dollars is held overseas.

The rest of the money is in bank accounts of various types, and the Federal Reserve has tracked these funds in three different values known as the M1, M2 and M3 money supplies. (M3 has since been dropped. More on that below.)

M1 represents all the currency outside the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve banks and the vaults of depository institutions. It also includes demand deposits at commercial banks (excluding those amounts held by depository institutions, the U.S. government, foreign banks and official institutions), the Federal Reserve float and other liquid deposits. In March 2021, the M1 money supply for U.S. dollars equaled about $18.7 trillion [source: Federal Reserve]

M2 is the M1 supply, plus small-denomination time deposits (less than $100,000). In March 2021, the M2 money supply was about $19.9 trillion [source: Federal Reserve].

M3 is M2 plus larger CDs. As of March 2006, the Fed stopped tracking the M3 money stock as an economic indicator because it felt it did not add any information on economic activity that was not already available from M2 [sources: Federal Reserve].

How Much Money Is There In The World?

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There is approximately US$ 40 trillion in circulation: this includes all the physical money and the money deposited in savings and checking accounts.

Money in the form of investments, derivatives, and cryptocurrencies exceeds $1.3 quadrillion.

Who Decides How Much Money Exists?

A country’s money supply is the total value of all currency and other liquid assets circulating within its economy. This includes physical currency, such as coins and paper bills, as well as commercial bank deposits, which are also considered legal tender.

The money supply is essential for supporting economic activity, as it provides the means for businesses to make purchases and consumers to pay for goods and services. The amount of money in circulation is determined by a number of factors, including the country’s central bank.

In the United States, the Federal Reserve has significant control over the money supply, as it can influence how much currency is produced and how much commercial banks can lend. As a result, the Federal Reserve plays a key role in determining how much money exists in the U.S. economy.

Different countries have different monetary policies, and thus the amount of money in circulation in each country is controlled by its own central bank. The European Central Bank controls the money supply for the Eurozone. Central banks control the money supply in their respective countries by setting interest rates and conducting open market operations. They also work with commercial banks to ensure that financial stability is maintained.

While there is no one global body that controls the amount of money in circulation in all countries, each country has its own central bank, which is responsible for controlling the money supply within its borders.

What is the world’s total wealth?

The world is wealthier than ever. According to McKinsey’s report, global assets grew from $440 trillion (approximately 13 times GDP) in 2000 to $1,540 trillion in 2020, while net worth increased from $160 trillion to over $510 trillion.

This figure includes real estate prices, equity market prices, exchange rates, natural resources, human resources, as well as capital and technological advancements that may create new assets or render others worthless in the coming years.

How much money is in the world per person?

In 2022, there is approximately $17,328 per person worldwide.

How much money does the richest person in the world have?

Jeff Bezo is currently the world’s richest man, with a net worth of 131.9 billion in 2022.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Currency Value in the World: 2022 Edition


Highest Currencies in the World

Value of

In INR (14th Jul'22)




79.82 INR


United States Dollar


80.12 INR


Swiss Franc


81.21 INR


British Pound


94.36 INR


Gibraltar Pound


94.64 INR


Cayman Island Dollar


96.19 INR


Jordanian Dinar


112.87 INR


Omani Rial


208.18 INR


Bahraini Dinar


212.64 INR


Kuwaiti Dinar


260.00 INR

Future of Money: Is Cash Going to Be Replaced?

India's new definition of wages could impact the cash-in-hand salaries that employees take home BCCL
Photo India Today

With countries striving hard to stabilize their economies, the total amount of money in circulation is expected to increase continuously.

Currently, more people are being drawn towards using virtual or digital currencies than physical money. This is why the use of physical money is gradually decreasing with the increased popularity of digital transactions.

China, Japan and Sweden have started trials of central bank digital currency. The Bank of England and the European Central Bank are also all set to conduct their own trials. The Bahamas has already launched the world’s first official digital currency.

If cash is to be replaced with digital currencies, it’s difficult to pinpoint how much money there is in the world. Quantifying something that has value but no physical existence is much trickier.

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