What Types of People Appear Most on International Currencies?
On currencies throughout the world, you’ll see everything from revolutionaries to poets featured prominently. But how does this mix of notable people break down quantitatively?
This graphic by NetCredit shows the types of people, by their main occupations and roles, that are featured on banknotes and coins worldwide.
Global Money Features Power
To find out the types of people most featured on money, NetCredit analyzed all the banknotes and coins in circulation in every country across the globe in 2022.
From monarchs to athletes, the analysis found that many types of people appear on banknotes and coins worldwide. In fact, 51 different main occupations and roles were identified, which were then organized into eight overarching categories:
- Sport & Recreation
- Military & Espionage
- The Arts
Here’s a breakdown of all 51 different occupations, and what percentage of worldwide currencies they’re featured on:
|Occupation||Category||% on Currencies|
|Head of government||Government||20.74%|
|Military||Military & Esionage||8.22%|
|Scientist||Science & Humanities||1.21%|
|Explorer||Science & Humanities||0.90%|
|Inventor||Science & Humanities||0.83%|
|Scholar||Science & Humanities||0.83%|
|Athlete||Sport & Recreation||0.60%|
|Educator||Science & Humanities||0.53%|
|Historian||Science & Humanities||0.45%|
|Doctor||Science & Humanities||0.38%|
|Mathematician||Science & Humanities||0.38%|
|Architect||Science & Humanities||0.30%|
|Economist||Science & Humanities||0.30%|
|Philosopher||Science & Humanities||0.23%|
|Chief of state||Government||0.15%|
|Intellectual||Science & Humanities||0.15%|
|Lawyer||Science & Humanities||0.15%|
|Spy||Military & Esionage||0.08%|
|Civil engineer||Science & Humanities||0.08%|
|Linguist||Science & Humanities||0.08%|
|Philanthropist||Science & Humanities||0.08%|
|Anthropologist||Science and Humanities||0.08%|
|Ballerina||Sport & Recreation||0.08%|
|Chess champion||Sport & Recreation||0.08%|
|Mountaineer||Sport & Recreation||0.08%|
|Film director||The Arts||0.08%|
The analysis shows that over 50% of the people featured on money are either monarchs or heads of government, many of which are no longer in power.
For instance, Belize was once a British colony and still features the late Elizabeth II on all of its currency—even though the country gained independence from the UK in 1981.
And everyone featured on U.S. currency is also a historical figure. Putting living celebrities on U.S. money has been banned since 1866, after Spencer Clark, who was the Superintendent of the U.S. National Currency Bureau at the time, printed his own face on the 5-cent banknote instead of the explorer William Clark of “Lewis and Clark.”
International Currencies: The Most Popular Figure Heads
Featured on over 100 different currencies around the world, the late Elizabeth II is the most featured person on banknotes and coins.
This makes sense considering the UK’s widespread historical reach. During the height of its reign in the early 20th century, the British Empire ruled nearly a quarter of the world.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, 6 of the top 10 most-featured people on currencies are monarchs, while the rest are heads of government.
Women on Banknotes
While Elizabeth II is the most featured person on currencies around the world, it’s worth mentioning that few other women have been given the same honor.
A study analyzed 1,006 current international banknotes and found that only 15% featured images of women.
However, some countries are actively trying to celebrate more women on their money. For example, the U.S. has been planning to put Harriet Tubman on the U.S. $20 bill for years, and while there have been some delays, the bill is currently on track to get released by 2030.
This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.
Ranked: America’s Best Universities
Evaluated on 19 different metrics, here’s the list of America’s best universities, led by 14 private schools.
Ranked: America’s Best Universities
The latest ranking of America’s best universities is here, perfectly timed for the approaching admissions season.
“Best” is of course subjective, and U.S. News and World Report has compiled 19 metrics on which they evaluated more than 400 national universities. Some of them include:
- Graduation rates & performance: A four-year rolling average of the proportion of each entering class earning a bachelor’s degree in six years or less. Performance is measured against predictions made by the publishers, and when beaten, the university gains a higher scoring.
- Peer assessment: A two-year weighted average of ratings from top academics—presidents, provosts and deans of admissions—on academic quality of peer institutions with which they are familiar.
- Financial resources: The average per student spend on instruction, research, student services and related educational expenditures in the 2021 fiscal year.
- Debt: A school’s average accumulated federal loan debt among borrowers only.
- Pell graduation rates & performance: the same calculation as stated above, but focused only on Pell Grant students, adjusted to give more credit to schools with larger Pell student proportions.
The website’s methodology section details how they sourced their data, the weights assigned to each metric, and their changes over the years.
From the hundreds assessed come the nearly 50 best universities that offer a variety of undergraduate majors, post-graduate programs, emphasize research, or award professional practice doctorates.
Which are the Best Universities in America?
At the top of the list, Princeton University is the best university in the country, known for its physics, economics, and international relations departments. Notably, it’s a rare Ivy league university that does not have a law, medical, or business school.
Here’s the full ranking of America’s best universities, along with annual tuition requirements.
|1||Princeton University||New Jersey||$59,710|
|7||Duke University||North Carolina||$66,172|
|9||Brown University||Rhode Island||$68,230|
|12||Columbia University||New York||$65,524|
|12||Cornell University||New York||$66,014|
|12||University of Chicago||Illinois||$65,619|
|18||Dartmouth College||New Hampshire||$65,511|
|20||University of Notre Dame||Indiana||$62,693|
Michigan, Ann Arbor
|22||Georgetown University||Washington, DC||$65,082|
|22||University of North|
Carolina at Chapel Hill
|North Carolina||$39,338 (out-state)
|24||Carnegie Mellon University||Pennsylvania||$63,829|
|24||University of Virginia||Virginia||$58,950 (out-state)
University, St. Louis
California, San Diego
|28||University of Florida||Florida||$28,658 (out-state)
|35||New York University||New York||$60,438|
|35||University of Illinois|
|New Jersey||$36,001 (out-state)
|40||University of Washington||Washington||$41,997 (out-state)
|43||The Ohio State University||Ohio||$36,722 (out-state)
|47||Texas A&M University||Texas||$40,607 (out-state)
|47||University of Georgia||Georgia||$30,220 (out-state)
|47||University of Rochester||New York||$64,384|
|47||Virginia Tech||Virginia||$36,090 (out-state)
|47||Wake Forest University||North Carolina||$64,758|
|53||Florida State University||Florida||$21,683 (out-state)
|53||William & Mary||Virginia||$48,841 (out-state)
MIT places second, and Harvard and Stanford tie for third. Yale rounds out the top five.
Private universities, including seven Ivy League colleges, dominate the top of the rankings. Meanwhile, the highest-ranked public schools are tied at 15th, both state schools in California.
For affordability, since the higher ranks are populated by private universities, there tends to be a broad correlation of better universities being more expensive. That said, the most expensive school in the top 50 ranks is actually the University of Southern California, tied at 28th, for $68,237/year.
As it happens, also tied at 28th, the University of Florida is the most affordable public school for in-state students ($6,381/year) and Florida State University tied at 53rd, is the most affordable for out-of-staters at $21,683/year.
However these costs are tuition-only, and don’t account for other necessary expenses: accommodation, food, and textbooks.
Best University versus Best “Fit”
Finding the best university for prospective students is more than just perusing a long ranking list.
Aside from the numerous schools present within each university—which can often be the best for specific majors—factors like location, proximity to family, campus culture, the non-academic pursuits (sports, extracurriculars, internships) are also taken into consideration.
In fact, research has found that just attaining a university degree improves future earnings potential and employability.
Furthermore, individual engagement at college (irrespective of the rank of the school in question) plays a far bigger role in learning and general well-being than simply attending a highly-ranked school.
However, for low income and minority students, attending a top-ranked school does improve future earnings considerably. For women, it also often results in delaying marriage and kids, which results in more work-hours and as a result, more pay.
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