The U.S. dollar (USD) is one of the most valuable currencies in the world. The euro is the main rival of the U.S. dollar in international markets. It was worth slightly more in 2020. That has not always been the case, with the euro-to-dollar rate fluctuating over the years.
In general, more valuable currencies tend to be stronger. That's because weak currencies lose value in the long run. However, some strong currencies, such as the Japanese yen (JPY), are less valuable because of the effect of inflation that occurred decades ago.
The exchange rates below are current as of May 2022.
- The U.S. dollar is one of the most stable and strong currencies in the world.
- It's used as a reserve currency for global trade and finance.
- Still, the currencies of some countries are more valuable, meaning that $1 is worth less than 1 unit of the foreign currency.
- A more valuable foreign currency does not necessarily mean that the foreign economy is larger or stronger.
- Exchange rates are set by a variety of factors, including the amount of money in circulation.
1. Euro: 1 EUR = 1.07 USD
As of May 2022, the euro (EUR) to U.S. dollar (USD) exchange rate was about 1 euro for $1.07. The U.S. dollar generally strengthened against the euro in 2020 and 2021. This strength makes European imports relatively less expensive in the U.S.
A weak currency is not always bad because it can help boost American exports. The European Central Bank (ECB), which sets monetary policy for the eurozone, has more independence from national governments than other central banks because it oversees the entire continent's monetary policy.
That independence helps keep the euro strong. However, it also contributed to the European sovereign debt crisis. During that time, some countries (such as Greece and Italy) found it difficult to enact specific policies (such as printing more money) to help stimulate their economies.
2. Cayman Islands Dollar: 1 KYD = 1.21 USD
The Cayman Islands dollar (KYD) was set via a fixed peg at 1.20 USD back in the 1970s. That may seem like an easy way to make a currency worth more than the U.S. dollar, but it's not necessarily so.
A currency peg can be difficult to maintain when local economic conditions are poor and the U.S. is raising interest rates. The country's status as a tax haven helps to support the value of the Cayman Islands dollar.
3. British Pound: 1 GBP = 1.25 USD
Bank of England (BOE) policymakers generally have kept pace with developments in other countries over the past several decades. They've kept the pound more valuable than the U.S. dollar.
The British pound (GBP) was historically worth more than the U.S. dollar. However, it declined against the USD during much of the 20th century. This decline reversed during the 1980s, and the British pound regained its old advantage over the U.S. dollar.
4. Jordanian Dinar: 1 JOD = 1.41 USD
Like the Cayman Islands Dollar, the Jordanian Dinar (JOD) has been pegged to the U.S. dollar at a higher value. The hope was that a stable rate of exchange would help to attract U.S. investment to Jordan.
It is crucial to remember that any country can peg its currency to the dollar at any value. However, the currency must keep its value relative to the U.S. dollar to maintain that peg. Jordan successfully did that during the first two decades of the 21st century.
Most major capitalist countries pegged their currencies to the U.S. dollar under the Bretton Woods System in the mid-20th century. In the early 21st century, many nations in the Caribbean and the Middle East still tied their exchange rates to the dollar.
5. Omani Rial: 1 OMR = 2.60 USD
Oman is yet another country that pegged its currency to the U.S. dollar at a fixed exchange rate (1 OMR to 2.60 USD). The Omani rial (OMR) has maintained its value against the dollar due to Oman's oil production and its historically tight monetary policy and financial restrictions.
Omani policymakers have generally restricted the money supply to protect the country against war and conflict in the Middle East. That has impacted the country's inflation rate. In addition, lending practices in Oman tend to favor risk-averse companies and business ventures.
6. Bahraini Dinar: 1 BHD = 2.65 USD
The Bahraini dinar (BHD) was pegged to the U.S. dollar at a slightly higher value than the Omani rial. The Bahraini dinar's yearly average has remained close to its current exchange rate since 2011 despite the significant effect that low oil prices had on Bahrain's economy. Bahrain's inflation rate was also modest and relatively stable.
7. Kuwaiti Dinar: 1 KWD = 3.26 USD
The Kuwaiti dinar (KWD) is often the most valuable foreign currency and it does not rely on a peg. It floats freely. Substantial oil production has helped to augment Kuwait's wealth and support the value of the Kuwaiti dinar.
What Affects a Currency Exchange Rate?
Broadly speaking, the exchange rate for countries with free floating currencies is usually affected by the strength of a country's economy. In addition, though, exchange rates are relative, meaning they depend on the country with which you're comparing yours at any given time. So, economic conditions and policies (e.g., concerning inflation, interest rates, debt) in the respective countries can affect the exchange rate.
What Is the Exchange Rate for the Canadian Dollar and U.S. Dollar?
As of May 2022, one Canadian dollar (CAD) would get you about .77 U.S. dollars. Looking at it from the other way around, if you'll be traveling to Canada and need some local currency, you'd be able to get 1.28 Canadian dollars for just 1 U.S. dollar.
What's the Most Powerful Currency in the World?
The U.S. dollar is considered to be the most powerful or strongest currency in the world. There are a variety of reasons for this. The U.S. economy and government are consistently stable and strong. The have been for a long time. The U.S. dollar makes up the majority of the world's currency reserves. It's a trusted currency and accepted across the globe.