Facts for the media about dementia
Key facts and statistics on dementia and other dementia related topics can be found here.
What is dementia?
Dementia is a group of symptoms. It’s caused by different diseases that damage the brain. The symptoms get worse over time and include:
- memory loss
- confusion and needing help with daily tasks
- problems with language and understanding
- changes in behaviour.
There are many types of dementia but Alzheimer’s disease is the most common. The next most common is vascular dementia.
How many people in the UK have dementia?
A report in 2019, commissioned by Alzheimer’s Society from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), set out estimates for the number of people with dementia and the cost of dementia care in the UK with projections to 2040.
The report found:
- There are currently around 900,000 people with dementia in the UK. This is projected to rise to 1.6 million people by 2040.
- 209,600 people will develop dementia this year, that’s one every three minutes.
- 70 per cent of people in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems.
- There are over 42,000 people under 65 with dementia in the UK. This is known as young-onset dementia.
- More than 25,000 people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in the UK are affected by dementia.
In April 2022, the monthly death statistics for England, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), reported dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as England’s biggest killer. Deaths from dementia in Wales remain high compared with other major diseases.
How many people in the world have dementia?
There are an estimated 57.4 million people living with dementia around the globe. It is estimated that this number will rise to 152.8 million by 2050.
How much does dementia cost in the UK?
Two thirds of the cost of dementia is paid by people with dementia and their families.
Unpaid carers supporting someone with dementia save the UK economy £13.9 billion a year.
The total cost of care for people with dementia in the UK is £34.7 billion. This is set to rise sharply over the next two decades, to £94.1 billion by 2040.
The cost of social care for people with dementia is set to nearly treble by 2040, increasing from £15.7 billion to £45.4 billion.
Dementia is one of the main causes of disability later in life, ahead of cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Is there a cure for dementia?
There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease or any other type of dementia. Dementia research is desperately underfunded. There are not enough dementia researchers or clinicians.
While new treatments are being developed with increasing speed, they are not coming quickly enough for people affected by dementia now. We are at a tipping point in dementia research – we have made huge progress in recent years, but this could grind to a halt without investment.
What does Alzheimer’s Society do to support dementia research?
Alzheimer’s Society is a vital source of support and a powerful force for change for everyone affected by dementia.
Alzheimer’s Society’s funded research aims to improve diagnosis, develop new treatments, and improve care and support for people living with dementia.
As a founding funder of the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI), Alzheimer's Society remains a proud funding partner of the Institute.
How can you contact Alzheimer's Society?
For non-English speakers
If you speak Welsh, call our Welsh-speaking support line on 03300 947 400.
For callers who do not have English as their language of choice, we can arrange a simultaneous language translation service. Please call our English-speaking support line on 0333 150 3456, say the English word for the language you would like to use, end the call and wait. An interpreter will usually call you back within five minutes.
For people with speech or hearing difficulties
If you have speech or hearing difficulties and have a textphone or an adapted computer, you can use Text Relay to call our English-speaking Dementia Connect support line on 18001 0300 222 1122.
More information on contacting Alzheimer's Society is available on our Contact us page.
How to contact Alzheimer’s Society’s press team
For further information, please contact the national or regional media teams.
- Page last reviewed: