Dementia is the most urgent health challenges facing the world today and is not solvable by any one country, organisation or individual alone. Through local, national and international action we will together bring closer the day we defeat dementia. Prevalence rates are increasing globally, with populations ageing worldwide, and at a significant rate, including in low to middle income countries, where around 60% of all people with dementia live. The estimated increase in dementia prevalence in over 60 year olds is greatest in Africa and East Asia, i.e. in those countries that are least able to cope.  

Dementia currently
affects around

50 million

people worldwide

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that dementia currently affects around 50 million people worldwide. There are nearly 10 million new cases of dementia a year. The number of people with dementia is expected to rise to 82 million by 2030 and 152 million in 2050.

The worldwide costs
of dementia are

$818 billion

and it will become a trillion-dollar
disease by 2018

Alzheimer’s Disease International estimates that the existing worldwide costs of dementia are US $818 billion and that it will become a trillion-dollar disease by 2018 - equivalent to the world’s 18th largest economy. This is unsustainable.

All societies must be encouraged to support people who are at risk of dementia, those who are living with the disease and their care partners; and to make sure that every effort is made to combat dementia, including through the development of new, effective treatments. However, while it is expected that research into new treatments will start to bear fruit over the next few years, global economies are operating in a challenging financial environment and global health and care systems are struggling to respond. 

"Dementia is an enormous and growing global health challenge. While advances have been made internationally, and at a nation state level, to meet the challenge, progress has been too slow."

WDC Chair, Harry Johns

  • G8 London Summit

    The world’s first G8 dementia summit was held in London on 11 December 2013, bringing together ministers, researchers, pharmaceutical companies and charities to discuss global action on dementia. The summit made key commitments to accelerate global change to improve the lives of people affected by dementia. 

  • About dementia

    The term “dementia” describes a set of symptoms that include loss of memory, mood changes and problems with communicating and reasoning. Dementia is a progressive condition, so symptoms become more severe over time. This means that people with dementia and their care partners have to cope with a reduced capacity to make decisions about major life events and day-to-day situations, as well as a range of other changes.

For more information about dementia, please visit the Alzheimer's Disease International website.