Population health impacts of younger onset dementia

How many people have younger onset dementia in Australia?

The exact number of people with younger onset dementia is currently not known. However, the AIHW estimates that in 2023 there were about 28,900 people aged 30–64 living with dementia in Australia (13,300 men and 15,600 women). People with younger onset dementia accounted for 7% of the total estimated number of people living with dementia in Australia (about 411,100 people in 2023).  For more information on the available data sources and methodologies used to estimate dementia prevalence, see Prevalence of dementia.

Most young people with dementia live in the community

Based on AIHW estimates, in 2022, most people with younger onset dementia lived in the community (95% or 26,900 people) (Figure 2.2). People were more likely to move to cared accommodation as they got older: just over half (54%) of people with dementia aged 90 or over lived in the community in 2022.

Figure 2.2: Australians living with dementia in 2022: estimated percentage by age, sex and place of residence

Stacked bar graph showing that younger people with dementia are more likely to live in the community, while older people with dementia are more likely to live in cared accommodation. 

Deaths due to dementia or with dementia in people under the age of 65

Dementia is a progressive condition that leads to reduced life expectancy. The mortality statistics presented here are derived from the National Mortality Database. In 2021, 124 people under the age of 65 died in Australia due to dementia. 

Deaths due to dementia refers to cases where dementia was recorded as the underlying cause of death. Given people with dementia often have other health conditions and there can only be one underlying cause of death recorded, it is important to also account for all other cases where Australians died with dementia (where dementia was recorded as either the underlying cause or an associated cause of death).

In 2021, 139 people under the age of 65 died with dementia as an associated cause of death. Of these, Down syndrome was the leading underlying cause of death (33% of deaths), followed by unspecified fall (5%), motor neuron disease (4%) and Parkinson’s disease (3%) (Table S13.24).

For more information see Deaths due to dementia.