Updated: Aug 26, 2020
By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia is projected to reach 13.8 million. Millions of Americans have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. As the size of the U.S. population continues to increase, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia will grow. Both the number and proportion will escalate rapidly in coming years, as the population of Americans age 65 and older is projected to grow from 56 million in 2020 to 88 million by 2050. The baby boom generation has already begun to reach age 65 and beyond, 85 and up are the age range of greatest risk of Alzheimer’s dementia; in fact, the oldest members of the baby boom generation turn age 74 in 2020.
The estimated number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia comes from a study using the latest data from the 2010 U.S. Census and the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP), a population-based study of chronic health conditions of older people.62 National estimates of the prevalence of all forms of dementia are not available from CHAP, but they are available from other population-based studies including the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study (ADAMS), a nationally representative sample of older adults. Based on estimates from ADAMS, 14% of people age 71 and older in the United States have dementia.