Counterfeit euro banknotes removed from circulation in Europe H1 2012- H2 2019

The number of counterfeit euro bank notes withdrawn from circulation reached a six year low in the second half of 2018. Of the seven denominations of euro notes, 20 euro and 50 euro notes made up over 70 percent of counterfeit notes that were withdrawn in the second half of 2019.

Counterfeit notes are very rare

Despite the total number of counterfeits increasing by almost 23 percent between the first and second half of 2019, the chances of coming across a counterfeit note in Europe is exceedingly rare. In total, there are approximately 24 billion euro notes in circulation, totaling nearly 1.3 trillion euros.

Technology makes finding counterfeits easier

Technological printing methods has made finding counterfeit euro notes easier. The European Central Bank has for a number of years promoted the technique of ‘feel, look and tilt’ as the method for identifying counterfeit notes.

Number of counterfeit euro banknotes withdrawn from circulation in Europe from the first half of 2012 to the second half of 2019

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Release date

January 2020



Survey time period

1st half of 2012 to 1st half of 2019

Supplementary notes

Numbers are rounded to the nearest 1,000.

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Statistics on "The Euro currency"

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