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Richer Countries Have Fewer Bacteria on Banknotes, Study Finds

The richer and more economically free a country, the fewer bacteria its banknotes carry, according to a study of paper money in 10 countries ranging from Burkina Faso to the U.S.

Researchers found a “strong correlation” between the amount of bacteria per square centimeter (0.16 square inch) on banknotes and a country’s ranking on the Index of Economic Freedom, Wageningen University in the Netherlands said on its website today. Currencies studied included the euro, U.S. dollar, British pound, Chinese yuan and Mexican peso.