June 21, 2024
51 Types of People Appearing The Most on International currencies 

Everything from revolutionaries to poets gets featured prominently on currencies throughout the world. But have you ever thought of how this mix of notable people breaks down quantitatively?

Let’s dive deep into the main occupations and roles of people featured on banknotes and coins worldwide.

The Power of Global Money Features

To know more about the types of people most featured on money, NetCredit company analyzed all the banknotes and coins in circulation in every country across the globe in 2022.

From monarchs to athletes, the analysis discovered that many types of people get featured on banknotes and coins worldwide.

The analysis showed 51 different main occupations and roles, which were then organized into eight overarching categories as shown below:

  • Leadership
  • Government
  • Society
  • Military & Espionage
  • Sport & Recreation
  • Humanity
  • Religion
  • The Arts

Below is a breakdown of all 51 different occupations, and what percentage of worldwide currencies they’re featured on:

Occupation Category% on Currencies
Head of governmentGovernment20.74%
MilitaryMilitary & Espionage8.22%
PoetThe Arts5.13%
Religious leaderReligion3.02%
AuthorThe Arts2.26%
ArtistThe Arts1.73%
WriterThe Arts1.51%
MusicianThe Arts1.51%
ScientistScience & Humanities1.21%
Movement leaderLeadership0.98%
ExplorerScience & Humanities0.90%
InventorScience & Humanities0.83%
ScholarScience & Humanities0.83%
AthleteSport & Recreation0.60%
Supreme leaderLeadership0.53%
EducatorScience & Humanities0.53%
HistorianScience & Humanities0.45%
SingerThe Arts0.45%
Nationalist leaderLeadership0.38%
DoctorScience & Humanities0.38%
MathematicianScience & Humanities0.38%
ArchitectScience & Humanities0.30%
EconomistScience & Humanities0.30%
PhilosopherScience & Humanities0.23%
ActorThe Arts0.23%
Chief of stateGovernment0.15%
Revolutionary leaderLeadership0.15%
IntellectualScience & Humanities0.15%
LawyerScience & Humanities0.15%
SpyMilitary & Espionage0.08%
Civil engineerScience and Humanities0.08%
LinguistScience and Humanities0.08%
PhilanthropistScience and Humanities0.08%
AnthropologistScience and Humanities0.08%
Social workerSociety0.08%
BallerinaSport & Recreation0.08%
Chess championSport & Recreation0.08%
MountaineerSport & Recreation0.08%
ActressThe Arts0.08%
Film directorThe Arts0.08%

The analysis shows that over 50% of the people featured on currencies are either monarchs or heads of government, and many of them are no longer in power.

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For example, Take a look at Belize which was once a British colony but still features the late Elizabeth II on all of its currency—even though the country gained independence from the UK in 1981.

Everyone featured in the U.S. currency is also a historical figure. However, putting living celebrities on U.S. money was banned in 1866, after Spencer Clark, who was the Superintendent of the U.S.’s National Currency Bureau at the time, had his face printed on the 5-cent banknote instead of the explorer William Clark of “Lewis and Clark.”

The Most Popular Figure Heads on International Currencies

The late Elizabeth II is the most featured person on banknotes and coins for she is featured on over 100 different currencies around the world.

The late Elizabeth II is featured on most currencies due to the UK’s widespread historical reach. During the height of its reign in the early 20th century, the British Empire ruled almost a quarter of the world and up to now some countries still feature the late  Elizabeth II on their currency.

People Appearing on The Most Currencies In The World

Name CountryNumber of CurrenciesCategory 
Elizabeth IIUnited Kingdom109Leadership
Hassanal BolkiahBrunei13Leadership
Jomo KenyattaKenya12Government
Sheikh Mujibur RahmanBangladesh12Government
Simon BolivarVenezuela12Government
Agostinho Neto and Jose Eduardo Dos SantosAngola11Government
John Garang De MabiorSudan11Leadership

The table of the most featured people on currencies also shows that 6 of them are monarchs, while the rest are heads of government.

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How many Women are Featured on Banknotes

Although  Elizabeth II is the most featured person on currencies around the world, it’s worth mentioning that few other women have been featured on currencies too.

A study that analyzed 1,006 current international banknotes showed that 15% of the featured people were women.

Additionally, some countries are actively trying to celebrate more women on their money.

For example, the U.S. has been planning to have Harriet Tubman on the U.S. $20 bill for some years now, and while there have been some delays, the bill is currently on track to get released by 2030.

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