Dementia in Canada

Download the alternative format
(PDF format, 177 K, 1 page)

Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada

Date published: 2024-03-08

Related Topics

Including Alzheimer disease

Dementia is an umbrella term that describes a set of symptoms affecting brain function. It is a chronic condition that usually gets more severe over time.Footnote 1

Symptoms can include:

  • a decline in memory, planning, language and judgement
  • changes in mood and behaviour
  • physical changes (e.g. loss of coordination and bladder control, weak and stiff muscles, mobility issues)

According to national data (2020-2021Footnote *), of Canadians 65+:

  • Close to 477,000 live with diagnosed dementia; almost 2/3 are women.
  • Almost 10 are diagnosed with dementia every hour.
  • The risk of being diagnosed with dementia is more than 6 times higher for those aged 80+ compared to those aged 65-79.
  • Adjusting for population aging, the rate of newly diagnosed dementia cases has decreased over the last 10 years, and the proportion of those living with dementia has decreased in the past 5 years.
  • The mortality rate (from any cause) in Canadians with diagnosed dementia is 5.1 times higher than that of Canadians without.

Not everyone develops the conditions as they age.

Though dementia causes are currently not all known, the risk of getting dementia generally increases with age. The risk may be reduced by staying physically and socially active, avoiding smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, wearing a helmet when biking or skiing, as well as managing chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.Footnote 2 If you or someone close to you are worried about dementia, talk to a health care provider.

Learn more about dementia, including Alzheimer disease, in Canada

Visit and search Dementia

Get Data Health Infobase


Data source: Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System (CCDSS), 2022. Northwest Territories data were not available. 

Footnote *

Many CCDSS measures were influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020–2021 and should be interpreted with caution.

Return to footnote * referrer

Acknowledgements: This work was made possible through collaboration between the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and all Canadian provincial and territorial governments, and expert contribution from the CCDSS Neurological Conditions Working Group. This infographic was developed by PHAC; no endorsement by the provinces and territories is intended.


Footnote 1

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Dementia: Overview [Internet]. Ottawa (ON): PHAC. [cited 2023 Nov 16]. Available from:

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Dementia: Risk factors and prevention [Internet]. Ottawa (ON): PHAC. [cited 2023 Nov 16]. Available from:

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Page details

Date modified: