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How many people are affected by dementia – and who are they?

A dementia diagnosis can have a massive impact, not only on the person themselves but on family, friends and the wider community. Find out how many people are really affected by dementia

Who has dementia?

One person in the UK develops dementia every three minutes.

BUT at least half of them will put off getting a diagnosis, either because they don’t recognise the symptoms or because the stigma puts them off wanting to know.

850,000 people in the UK have dementia.

1 in 6 people over 80 have dementia.

40,000 people under 65 have dementia in UK.

BUT this figure is set to soar to 1 million by 2025 and 2 million by 2051.

Who cares?

540,000 people currently care for someone with dementia in England.

1 in 3 people will care for a person with dementia in their lifetime.

Who else?

It’s not only people with dementia and their carers who feel the impact of the illness, it’s also:


Dementia costs £26 billion a year, more than cancer, heart disease or stroke. It places a massive strain on hospitals too, with around 25 per cent of hospital beds taken by people with dementia.


Around 66,000 carers have already had to reduce their working hours to make time for caring, whilst 50,000 have left work altogether and this is set to rise to 83,000 by 2030. In fact, by the same year dementia will have cost UK companies more than £3 billion.

Everyone else

More than 40 per cent of people in the UK know someone, or have known someone with dementia, which means that dementia currently affects more than 25 million people in the UK.

Since it is also the condition most feared by people over 55, the Government’s initiative to increase awareness and understanding of the condition by creating ‘dementia friendly communities’ in which people with dementia are treated compassionately and with respect  suddenly seems rather timely.