Essential facts, stats and quotes relating to carers and providing carer support services

Published on: 14th August 2015 | Updated on: 28th March 2022

This page contains facts, stats and quotes that LPC members may find useful when writing business cases or developing resources to support the commissioning of a carer support service.

This page is ‘work in progress’ and will continue to be updated with new facts, stats and quotes.

Facts, stats and quotes on other topics can be accessed on the Essential facts, stats and quotes page.

NHS England, Long-term conditions (LTCs) infographic (updated April 2016)

  • 80% of carers report that caring for someone living with a long-term condition has had a negative impact on their health. In addition, £1 billion in carers’ allowance is unclaimed each year.

NHS Digital (formerly known as HSCIC)– focus on dementia (January 2016)

  • Carers of people with dementia assess their own quality of life as 7.7 out of 12 overall. This is lowest in London at 7.3 and highest in the North East at 8.4.
  • 39% of carers spent 100 or more hours each week looking after or caring for a person with dementia, with 52% spending 50 hours or more per week.
  • Over half (51%) of carers had been in their caring role for more than five years.

Carers Trust, Key facts about carers and the people they care for (accessed January 2016)

Carers across the UK

  • There are almost seven million carers in the UK  – that is one in ten people. This is rising.
  • Out of the UK’s carers, 42% of carers are men and 58% are women. 
  • The economic value of the contribution made by carers in the UK is £119 billion per year. 
  • Over the next 30 years, the number of carers will increase by 3.4 million (around 60%). 
  • The number of people over 85 in the UK, the age group most likely to need care, is expected to increase by over 50% to 1.9 million over the next decade.

Young carers and young adult carers

  • 13,000 of the UK’s young carers care for over 50 hours a week.
  • Following a survey in 2010, the BBC estimated that there are 700,000 young carers in the UK. 
  • Young adult carers aged between 16 and 18 years are twice as likely to be not in education, employment, or training (NEET). 
  • In total there are 290,369 carers in the UK who are aged 16–24.

Older carers

  • In England and Wales, 1,277,693 people over 65 are carers.
  • 65% of older carers (aged 60–94) have long-term health problems or a disability themselves.

Mental health

  • Up to 1.5 million people in the UK care for someone with a mental health problem.

Learning disabilities

  • 14% of carers (approx. 840,000) care for people with learning disabilities including autistic-spectrum conditions.

Substance misuse

  • At the very least, nearly 1.5 million adults in the UK are affected by a relative’s drug use.

Health and wellbeing

  • A four year study of 392 carers and 427 non-carers aged 66–92 found that carers who were reporting feelings of strain had a 63% higher likelihood of death in that period than non-carers or carers not reporting strain.


  • There are currently 800,000 people living in the UK with dementia.
  • Two thirds of people with dementia live at home and most are supported by unpaid carers.

Carers in England

  • There are 5,430,016 carers in England.
  • 166,363 of the carers in England are children.

Research findings for Health & Social Care (June 2014)

  • Carers rated the pharmacy as the most carer-friendly service they receive out of all community services across health, social care, work, transport and education: 67% of carers rated the pharmacy as carer-friendly; only 8% of carers rated the pharmacy as not carer-friendly at all.
  • Carers providing round the clock care are more than twice as likely to be in bad health than non-carers (Census, 2011)

NHS England’s Commitment to Carers (May 2014)

  • Carers make a major contribution to society. Estimates show that the care provided by friends and family members to ill, frail or disabled relatives is equivalent to £119 billion every year.
  • 70% of carers come into contact with health professionals yet health professionals only identify one in ten carers with GPs, more specifically, only identifying 7%

Carers UK, Facts about carers policy briefing (May 2014)

  • There will be 9 million carers in the UK by 2037.
  • Carers UK estimates that we will see a 40% rise in the number of carers needed by 2037 – an extra 2.6 million carers, meaning the carer population in the UK will reach 9 million. 
  • Every year over 2.1 million adults become carers and almost as many people find that their caring responsibilities come to an end. 
  • 3 in 5 people will be carers at some point in their lives. 
  • The vast majority of care in the UK is provided by family and friends, who make up the UK’s 6.5 million carers. Social services and the NHS rely on carers’ willingness and ability to provide care and without it they would collapse. 
  • The care provided unpaid, by the nations’ carers is worth an estimated £119 billion per year – considerably more than total spending on the NHS. 
  • The pressures of caring can take a toll on carers’ physical and mental health. 92% said that caring has had a negative impact on their mental health, including stress and depression. 
  • The GP Patient Survey in 2013 highlighted the impact of caring on carer health – whilst 51% of non-carers had a long-standing health condition this rose to 60% of all carers and 70% of carers caring for 50 or more hours a week. The survey also highlighted higher levels of arthritis, high blood pressure, long-term back problems, diabetes, mobility problems, anxiety and depression amongst carers.

Department of Health – Dementia: A state of the nation report on dementia care and support in England (November 2013)

  • An estimated 21 million people in our country know a close friend or family member with dementia – that is 42% of the population. 
  • There are around 550,000 carers of people with dementia in the England. It is estimated that one in three people will care for a person with dementia in their lifetime.

Carers Trust, A Road Less Rocky – Supporting Carers of People with Dementia (September 2013)

  • 56% of carers questioned said that they had not received information about managing the medication of those they cared for.

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