It is estimated that there are over 55,000 people in Ireland living with some form of dementia. In the next 20 years that number is expected to double.
Worldwide there were an estimated 47 million people living with dementia in 2015 and this number is predicted to increase to 75 million by 2030 and to 132 million by 2050 (Prince et al., 2015).
There are nearly 10 million new cases of dementia each year globally – that’s a new case every 3.2 seconds (Prince et al., 2015)
In Europe, over the past 20 years, there has been a 50% increase in the number of people with dementia; a similar increase is expected over the next 20 years (OECD, 2015). However, the biggest increase in the number of people with dementia in the future will be in developing countries. Already 58% of people with dementia live in developing countries, a number that is set to rise to 68% by 2050.
The cost of dementia in Ireland has been estimated at just over €1.69 million per annum, 48% of which is attributable to informal care provided by family and friends to those living with dementia in the community (Connolly et al., 2014).
The overall cost of dementia care in Europe is estimated to be €160 billion (Wimo et al., 2011).
The expected increase in the number of people with dementia in the world, along with the associated cost of care, mean that policy-makers need to pay more attention to the disease and its implications for public funding and investment in the coming decades.
A Growing Challenge: Estimated Number of People with Dementia in Ireland (2011-2046)
Source: Department of Health – Ireland (2014)
Source: The Global Impact of Dementia 2013-2050, Alzheimer’s Disease International (December 2013)
 World Alzheimer Report, 2015: The Global Impact of Dementia, http://www.worldalzreport2015.org/
 OECD, 2014: Addressing Dementia http;//www.oecd.org/health/addressing-dementia-9789264231726-en.htm