Alzheimer’s Statistics

EDITOR: These [reposted 2015] stats are from, an online community dedicated to education, advocacy and supporting those whose lives have been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. was created by people touched by Alzheimer’s to give caregivers, those with Alzheimer’s a place to share our passion for change and a cure for the disease. I added a short section on the impact of sleep duration & quality and a related infographic.

Alzheimer’s Statistics Worldwide

2015 Alzheimer's Statistics

  • Worldwide, nearly 44 million people have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. (Alzheimer’s Disease International)
  • Only 1-in-4 people with Alzheimer’s disease have been diagnosed. (Alzheimer’s Disease International)
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia is most common in Western Europe (North America is close behind)
  • Alzheimer’s is least prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa. (Alzheimer’s Disease International)
  • Alzheimer’s and other dementias are the top cause for disabilities in later life. (Alzheimer’s Disease International)

The Cost of Alzheimer’s Care

  • The cost of caring for Alzheimer’s patients in the U.S. is estimated to be $226 billion in 2015. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • The global cost of Alzheimer’s and dementia is estimated to be $605 billion, which is equivalent to 1% of the entire world’s gross domestic product.
  • Medicare and Medicaid are expected to pay $154 billion in 2015 for health care, long-term care and hospice for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
  • Aggregate Cost of Care by Payer for Americans Age 65 and Older with Alzheimer‘s Disease and Other Dementias: Medicare $113 Billion, Medicaid $41 Billion,  Out of pocket $44 Billion, Other $29 Billion.

Alzheimer’s in the United States

  • 1-in-9 Americans over 65 has Alzheimer’s disease(Alzheimer’s Association)
  • When the first wave of baby boomers reaches age 85 (in 2031), it is projected that more than 3 million people age 85 and older will have Alzheimer’s. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • One-third of Americans over age 85 are afflicted with the illness. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • Unless a cure is found, more than 16 million Americans will have the disease by 2050. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in America. (Centers for Disease Control)
  • 1-in-3 seniors die with Alzheimer’s or another kind of dementia. (Centers for Disease Control)
  • Typical life expectancy after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is 4-to-8 years. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • In 2014, the 85-years-and-older population includes about 2 million people with Alzheimer’s disease, or 40 percent of all people with Alzheimer’s age 65 and older. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • By 2050, there could be as many as 7 million people age 85 and older with Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for half (51 percent) of all people 65 and older with Alzheimer’s. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • Proportion of People With Alzheimer’s Disease in the United States by Age: (Alzheimer’s Association) 85+ years – 38%,  75-84 years, 44%, 65-74 years, 15%, <65 years, 4%

Racial Makeup of Alzheimer’s

65-74 Years of Age

  • 2.9% White
  • 9.1% African American
  • 7.5% Hispanic

75-84 Years of Age

  • 10.9% White
  • 19.9% African American
  • 27.9% Hispanic

85 Years of Age and above

  • 30.2% White
  • 58.6% African American
  • 62.9% Hispanic

Projected Number of People Age 65 and Older (Total and by Age Group) in the U.S. Population With Alzheimer’s Disease, 2010 to 2050:

  • 2010 — Ages 65+: 4.7 Million
  • 2020 — Ages 65+: 5.8 Million
  • 2030 — Ages 65+: 8.4 Million
  • 2040 — Ages 65+: 11.6 Million
  • 2050 — Ages 65+: 13.8 Million

Who Gets Alzheimer’s Disease?

  • 2-in-3  people with Alzheimer’s are women. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • African American and Hispanic Americans are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than white Americans. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • North Dakota has a higher rate of Alzheimer’s mortality than any other state (54 Alzheimer’s deaths a year per 100,000 residents)
  • Alzheimer’s mortality is lowest in Nevada (11 Alzheimer’s deaths a year per each 100,000 residents) (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • 30% of people with Alzheimer’s also have heart disease, and 29% also have diabetes. (Alzheimer’s Association)


  • More than 40% of family caregivers report that the emotional stress of their role is high or very high. (Alzheimer’s Disease International)
  • In 2014, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $9.7 billion in additional health care costs of their own. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • In the 2009 NAC/AARP survey, caregivers most likely to indicate stress were women, older, residing with the care recipient, and white or Hispanic. In addition, these caregivers often believed there was no choice in taking on the role of caregiver. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • People with Alzheimer’s disease are hospitalized three times more often than seniors without Alzheimer’s. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • Seventy-four percent of caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias reported that they were “somewhat concerned” to “very concerned” about maintaining their own health since becoming a caregiver. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • 68% of nursing home residents have cognitive impairment from Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • 52% of assisted living facilities provide dedicated memory care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • In 2014, more than 15 million Americans provided more than 17.9 billion hours of unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia’s. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia’s. (Alzheimer’s Association)


Important Relationship with Sleep:

EDITOR: One of the reasons I’ve been working so closely with Dr. Bruce Meleski of Intelligent Sleep is because of the strong association between sleep and all sorts of health conditions, including Alzheimer’s. His team has done important research involving sleep and nutrition aimed at the Alzheimer’s problem, and they have has some significant successes, although none of it has yet made it into clinical trials. Still, recent studies show that sleep duration & quality is a good risk indicator, and the more I learn about this, the more convinced I am that prioritizing sleep is key to controlling the Alzheimer’s epidemic. See

Reported cases of Alzheimer’s disease are relatively new — like just in the last 150 years — so one must ask if it’s just because we’re living longer or if there are other contributors, including diet or lifestyle in our modern and stressful society. Don’t you see a connection between the fact that we humans used to sleep some 2 hours more per night 150 years ago, before Thomas Edison and the electric lightbulb? Might there be a connection between the increase in Alzheimer’s and the even newer introduction of energy-saving lightbulbs (LEDs, halogen, and compact fluorescents) and the back-lit displays in our TVs, computer displays, and phones? I’ve written often about how light affects our sleep (example), and I’m becoming increasingly convinced of the similar connection between sleep and Alzheimer’s.

Related Infographic:


Comments on “Alzheimer’s Statistics

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