Diagnosis of dementia

Getting a dementia diagnosis is key to unlocking access to personalised care and support, as well as accessing treatments that can help to control symptoms. A diagnosis helps enable people to plan ahead and identify any potential ways to improve their brain health.

An early and accurate diagnosis may offer greater opportunities to take part in research, such as clinical trials, increasing our chances of finding life-changing treatments. It will also be crucial to accessing these treatments when they arrive.

The most up-to-date diagnosis figures that are publicly available are shown below. Around 40% of those aged 65 or over thought to be living with dementia do not have a diagnosis. See our dementia maps and page on prevalence and incidence for more information on this. You can also read about our policy work on diagnosis.

All dementia diagnosis rates shown below have been calculated based on the best available data. When comparing diagnosis rates in each of the UK nations, it should be noted that there are different data sources and approaches to data collection, which make this problematic.

Changes have been made to the data collection procedures for the dementia diagnosis rate in England, meaning that data from May 2023 is no longer comparable to previous data, you can find more information about this change here.  In Scotland, the dataset is incomplete. Because of this, our calculated diagnosis rate may be lower than the true value. We expect further data soon which will give a more complete picture.

diagnosis england diagnosis rate

NHS Digital, Primary Care Dementia Data, February 2024.

Due to a change in data collection procedures, publications of this data are no longer comparable to previous entries.

diagnosis diagnosis rate scotland

General Practice – disease prevalence data visualisation 2021/22.

Estimated dementia prevalence in Scotland

This dataset is incomplete – as a result, our calculated diagnosis rate may be lower than the true value. We expect further data soon which will give a more complete picture.

Number of people diagnosed with dementia in the UK by nation (note that data sources and approaches are different for each region)

You can see how dementia diagnosis varies by region in our maps