How many people have dementia in the UK?

There are currently around 900,000 people with dementia in the UK. This number is expected to rise sharply in the coming years.

Why is the number of people with dementia increasing?

The increase in the number of people with dementia is driven by an ageing population. Age is the strongest known risk factor for dementia; the chances of developing dementia rises significantly with age. 

How many people will have dementia in the UK in the future? 

There are projected to be over 1million people with dementia in the UK by 2025. This is projected to rise to nearly 1.6million in 2040.

These numbers demonstrate the increasing scale and impact of dementia. There is an urgent need for action to be taken to meet current and future care needs.

Who is affected by dementia?

Dementia mainly affects people over the age of 65, though dementia can affect younger people too.

Our new figures, announced in December 2021, are based on the number of people with dementia over 65 only. This is because there is very little research and data on the estimated numbers of people with dementia under 65. There is an urgent need for more research to be carried out in this area. 

Why is it important to know how many people have dementia? 

Understanding the number of people with dementia is vital to make sure the right support is available to help people with dementia to live well. It is important when planning the provision of support services, local and national health and care strategies, and dementia research

Not everyone with dementia has a diagnosis. This is why it is important to have an estimate of the total number of people with dementia, both with or without a diagnosis. In 2020 diagnosis rates for dementia fell below two thirds. 

What is the impact of coronavirus on the number of people living with dementia?

During the pandemic we have sadly seen a high number of deaths of people with dementia – higher than would have been expected in a ‘normal’ year.

These deaths are either a direct result from COVID-19, or from the impact of lockdown on the progression of dementia symptoms. In our report, Worst hit: dementia during coronavirus, we shined a light on the impact of coronavirus on people with dementia and those who care for them. 

Our dementia advisers are here for you.

How is the 900,000 statistic calculated?

The figure was calculated using estimates of the number of people with dementia published in a report we commissioned from the London School of Economics (LSE) in 2019. We also looked at data published from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on deaths in people with dementia. 

We have done analysis taking both data sets into account to reach a new updated estimate.

More information can be found in our methodology document.

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