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Vote Results: "Keep The Penny!"

Our nation is surprisingly sentimental when it comes to our smallest currency - the penny - though those that would see its demise feel strongly that it should be out of circulation. At least that's how Coinstar interprets findings from its fourth annual currency poll.

In recent years, Congress has discussed whether or not to take the 1-cent coin out of circulation. But 65 percent of those who responded to the Coinstar poll said the penny should stay in circulation, with women the greatest supporters (74 percent were in favor of keeping it). More than half of men respondents (56 percent) agreed.

Still, 32 percent of respondents said the penny should go, and Coinstar said the numbers indicate they feel strongly - most said the penny should go even if it will cost consumers more through retailers rounding up prices.

If it does leave general circulation, respondents indicated that the penny will become more valuable. Almost 80 percent said the penny already is a collectible item.

The Coinstar survey queried 1,000 randomly chosen Americans. It asked their feelings on the different currencies and what they do with those currencies. Some other interesting tidbits from this year's survey results include:
Younger Americans accumulate more change than any other age group (83 percent) and most of them say they are saving to buy something specific. Still, they aren't getting their money through allowances as much these days. Forty percent of parents said they don't give their kids a regular allowance - though 63 percent said they try to teach the value of money. Those that are giving allowances are giving their kids a lot more than they got when they were small. Thirty-five percent gave their children $10 or more per week compared to 32 percent who said they received an allowance of $1 to $5 when they were youths.

Three out of four people (77 percent) said they accumulate their change, with 24 percent saying they do so because its adds up faster than they can get rid of it and 12 percent saying its too cumbersome to carry around. Meanwhile, people are finding creative ways to use loose change. Tops on the list these days is using it to scratch off a game ticket (73 percent) and most men (65 percent) said they found coins a great makeshift tool or screwdriver.

Copyright © 2001 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 11, No. 11, 11/01

First published on 11/01/2001

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