Canada Does Away with Pennies: Should the U.S. Follow Suit?

One group is dedicated to removing the U.S. penny from circulation, while Canada has already made the move. Do you agree? Or should citizens continue to use the coins?

The use of pennies will soon be a thing of the past in Canada.  

On Tuesday, Feb. 5, the Royal Canadian Mint ceased distribution of pennies across the nation, according to The Huffington Post

The last Canadian penny was actually minted in May of 2012 after more than 150 years in production, according to news outlets this week. 

Taking the penny out of circulation will save taxpayers in Canada an estimated $11 million per year, according to The Royal Canadian Mint.

The coin costs about 1.6 cents to manufacture, yet it only has a worth of 1 cent, according to The Huffington Post.

"The decision to phase out the penny was due to its excessive and rising cost of production relative to face value, the increased accumulation of pennies by Canadians in their households, environmental considerations, and the significant handling costs the penny imposes on retailers, financial institutions and the economy in general," the Canadian Mint wrote in a press release.

Meanwhile, the debate over whether to do away with the penny in the United States still exists.

The current cost of a penny in the United States, meanwhile, is 2.4 cents per coin, according to the U.S. Mint’s 2011 annual report. The website RetireThePenny.org claims that with nearly 5 billion pennies minted in 2011, the U.S. spent almost $120 million to produce less than $50 million of circulating currency.

So what do you think? Should America follow suit with Canada's move to take the penny out of circulation? Let us know in the comments section below.

Deena Segal February 07, 2013 at 06:03 PM


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