Our research provides an update on the trajectory of dementia and highlights the significant effects of dementia research on the UK economy. We estimate that:
- in 2040, over 1.2 million people in the UK will have dementia. This is an increase in prevalence of 30% from 2022.
- Informal carers for people with dementia were 791,210 in 2022, and they will increase to over 1 million in 2040.
This should put the discussion around dementia policy high in political agendas. Particularly, policies addressing the unmet needs of people living with dementia and a framework supporting informal carers both mentally and financially should be prioritised by governments.
In addition, the economic impact assessment reveals that dementia research has positive effect on the UK economy. Specifically, the direct, indirect, and induced benefits, which are expressed both in terms, of jobs and value created in the economy and other sectors of dementia’s research supply chain, are positive and significant.
In particular, dementia research totalled:
- More than 7k full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs with more than £529m of gross value added (GVA) in 2019/20.
Dementia research directly supported:
- More than 2.5k FTE jobs of which 2k were research/scientific and technical jobs, while approximately 500 refer to administrative jobs.
- This is associated with more than £276m of GVA.
Moreover, dementia research:
- Supports and generates 4.7k indirect and induced FTE jobs, which are associated with £253m of GVA.
- From them, 2.4k indirect FTE jobs are related to scientific research and development services and 274 indirect FTE jobs in wholesale trade services.
- The scientific indirect jobs provided an additional output of £121m while approximately £14m were generated in wholesale trade services.
The forecasts from now to 2040 are very promising and show that every £1 invested in dementia research will provide on average £2.91 of economic benefits. Accordingly, the number of jobs and gross value added resulting from dementia research will be increased to more than 10k and £780m, accordingly. These could be even higher if the government increases funding for dementia and effective treatments are developed.
Finally, salaries related to dementia R&D and administrative jobs have a positive impact on the UK regional economies, as they are much higher compared to the average salaries in these regions (41% and 24.5%, respectively), and thus have the potential to tackle inequalities across the UK.
In conclusion, increased investment in dementia research and clinical trials has the potential to improve the lives of those affected by dementia but will also facilitate long-term economic growth and stability in the UK.