How many people have dementia and what is the cost of dementia care?

There are currently around 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. Read projected figures until the year 2040, and find out what rising numbers will mean for the cost of dementia care.

Published November 2019

A new report commissioned by Alzheimer’s Society from the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) sets out new estimates for the number of people with dementia and the cost of dementia care in the UK, in 2019, with projections to 2040. 

It shows the scale and impact of dementia, and the urgent need for action to be taken to meet current and future care needs and the associated costs. 

In England, people affected by dementia have to pay most of the costs of their social care


Read the key findings of the report below, or download to read the full report.

How many people in the UK have dementia?

  • There are currently around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK.
  • This is projected to reach 1.6 million people in the UK living with dementia in 2040.
  • This sharp rise is due mainly to accelerated population ageing.

What is the cost of dementia care?

  • The total cost of care for people with dementia in the UK is £34.7billion. 
  • This is set to rise sharply over the next two decades, to £94.1billion in 2040. 
  • These costs are made up of healthcare costs (costs to the NHS), social care costs (costs of homecare and residential care), and costs of unpaid care (provided by family members).
  • The largest proportion of this cost, 45%, is social care, which totals £15.7billion. 
  • Social care costs are set to nearly triple over the next two decades, to £45.4billion by 2040.

What is the cost of care to families of people with dementia?

  • Families pay more than 60% of the total social care costs in England, paying £8.3billion a year, whilst the state pays £5.2billion.
  • ‘Unpaid carers’, or families and friends providing care to their loved ones, are providing care to a value of £13.9billion a year. This will increase to £35.7billion by 2040.

Facts about the report

  • All figures are for people with dementia aged 65 and over only.
  • Projections were produced using a model developed by CPEC at LSE for the MODEM (Modelling Outcome and Cost Impacts of Interventions for Dementia) study. 
  • The report includes breakdowns for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, as well as upper tier local authorities in England.
  • Details of methodology are set out in the report and its references. 

Help us Fix Dementia Care

With the number of people with dementia and the cost of their care set to rise sharply in the next two decades, we need to act now. Join our campaign to help Fix Dementia Care.

Fix Dementia Care
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