Will the Nickel Go the Way of the Penny?

While most Canadians think we should keep the nickel, four in 10 young adults disagree


The results of a recent survey show that Canadians are split on whether we should keep the nickel. About one in three Canadians, 36%, said they’d be happy to see it gone, while the majority—55%—said we should keep it.

Younger people were more likely to agree with getting rid of the coin; 41% of those aged 18 to 34 sided with phasing it out. Among those over 55, only 29% agreed.

Opinions about the nickel also varied by region: 63% of respondents from Saskatchewan and Manitoba favoured the coin, while only 47% of those from Quebec said the same.

The penny has been out of circulation since 2013, leaving some wondering whether the nickel would be next. In 2016, a Desjardins study suggested the nickel should go because of its decreasing buying power. In the same year, the government studied the pros and cons of keeping the nickel, and while the Finance Department didn’t recommend getting rid of it, it observed that, “As there are virtually no goods or services that can be purchased for a nickel, or several multiples thereof, the coin is generally used only to make change as part of larger transactions.

“The purchasing power of the nickel has eroded over time, relative both to prices and incomes.”

On the other hand, according the the Royal Canadian Mint, it still costs less than five cents to produce a nickel—that is, producing the nickel remains profitable for the Mint, which wasn’t true of the penny.

Though those surveyed were split on whether to keep the nickel, most agreed that getting rid of the penny had been a good idea—75% said they were on board with the decision, and that percentage jumped to 81% among young people aged 18 to 34.