Global cost of dementia set to reach US$1 trillion by 2018

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Media Release

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Someone in the world develops dementia every 3 seconds

This is just one of the astounding statistics to come out of Alzheimer’s Disease International’s World Alzheimer’s Report 2015 ‘The Global Impact of Dementia: An analysis of prevalence, incidence, cost and trends, released today in London.

The report found there are currently 46.8 million people living with dementia around the world, with numbers projected to nearly double every 20 years, increasing to 74.7 million by 2030.

The report also indicated that the current annual cost of dementia is US $818 billion, and is expected to become a trillion dollar disease in just three years’ time. This shows that the cost of dementia has increased by 35% since the 2010 World Alzheimer’s Report which estimated US $604 billion.

Alzheimer’s Australia National President, Professor Graeme Samuel said, “the time has come to take global action against dementia. It is clear from these findings that the global costs are growing more rapidly than the number of people affected.”

The updated estimates on dementia’s global prevalence, incidence and cost are based on new research led by Professor Martin Prince from King’s College London’s Global Observatory for Ageing and Dementia Care1. The report has highlighted dementia’s increasing impact on low and middle income countries (LMICs). It is estimated that 58% of all people living with dementia today reside in LMICs, a proportion that is anticipated to rise to 68% by 2050, driven mainly by population growth and an ageing global population.

In light of the findings, Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) have issued a number of global recommendations:

  • Awareness raising of dementia to encourage and create dementia-friendly communities
  • Promotion of risk reduction measures
  • Improving the diagnosis process
  • Support for family carers through information, social support, respite and counselling
  • Strengthening primary health care as a key part of the health system to respond to the dementia challenge
  • Upscaling of dementia research
  • Each country should develop its own national dementia strategy as a framework for action.

Professor Graeme Samuel continued, “these findings demonstrate the urgent need for governments both here in Australia and around the world to implement policies and legislation to provide a better quality of life for people living with dementia, both now and in the future.”


1 The King's College London Global Observatory works in collaboration with researchers from other universities. Economic costs were estimated by Professor Anders Wimo from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, and the searches of Chinese language databases were led by Dr Yu-Tzu Wu from the University of Cambridge.

Media enquiries:

Bianca Armytage | 0407 019 430 | [email protected]

Alzheimer’s Australia is the charity for people with dementia and their families and carers. As the peak body, it provides advocacy, support services, education and information. More than 342,800 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than half a million by 2030.

National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500
An interpreter service is available
(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)
Dementia is a National Health Priority Area

Media resources and additional information