Here we detail the key facts about the range of people who are carers, the impact on carers' finances and health, and statistics about carers across the UK and its individual nations.
Carers across the UK
- There are around seven million carers in the UK – that is one in ten people. This is rising.
- Three in five people will be carers at some point in their lives in the UK.
- 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 £132bn a year.
- By 2030, the number of carers will increase by 3.4 million (around 60%).
Young carers across the UK
- 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.
- 68% of young carers are bullied in schools.
- Over 39% of young carers had not informed their teacher or any member of staff that they were a young carer.
- 27% of young carers (aged 11–15) miss school or experience educational difficulties.
Young adult carers across the UK
- Young adult carers aged between 16 and 18 years are twice as likely to be not in education, employment, or training (NEET).
- There are estimated to be at least 350,000 young adult carers in the UK aged 16–25.
- There are 229,318 young adult carers aged 18–24 in the UK – 5.3% of all people in that age group.
- One quarter of all young adult carers in the UK (56,069 people) are providing care for more than 20 hours per week and almost 27,000 of these (12% of the total) are providing care for more than 50 hours each week.
- As young people grow older they become more heavily involved in caring.
- One in five people aged 50–64 are carers in the UK.
- 65% of older carers (aged 60–94) have long-term health problems or a disability themselves.
- 68.8% of older carers say that being a carer has an adverse effect on their mental health.
- One third of older carers say they have cancelled treatment or an operation for themselves because of their caring responsibilities.
Carers caring for someone with mental ill health
- Up to 1.5 million people in the UK care for someone with mental ill health.
- There are 50,000 children and young people looking after someone with mental ill health in the UK.
- One in four carers is a mental health carer.
- Of all the UK’s carers, 11% care for people with dementia.
Carers caring for someone with a learning disability
- 14% of carers (approx. 840,000) care for people with learning disabilities including autistic-spectrum conditions.
Caring and getting and keeping a job
- There are 4.27 million carers of working age living in the UK; 2.44 million (57%) of these are women and 1.83 million (43%) are men.
- The employment rate for carers is at 67% (72% of men and 62% of women); over half of those who are not working say that they want to do so.
- Nearly one in eight workers is a carer.
- One in five carers gives up employment to care.
How caring affects personal finances
- In a survey, 53% of carers have borrowed money as a result of their caring role – 61% have borrowed from a friend or relative and 41% have used overdrafts.
- 60% have used all of their savings to cover the costs of caring.
- 23% have either re-mortgaged their home or downsized to a smaller property.
Claiming benefits and caring
- In a survey, 8% of carers were receiving Disability Living Allowance as a result of their own disability or ill-health.
- 35% of carers had missed out on state benefits because they didn't realise they could claim them.
- Out of carers surveyed, 9% had missed out on Carer’s Allowance for 3–5 years, 10% for 5–10 years and 14% for over ten years, because they did not realise they were entitled to it.
Carers' health and wellbeing
- In a survey, carers providing more than 50 hours of care per week are twice as likely to report ill-health as those not providing care.
- Carers providing high levels of care were associated with a 23% higher risk of stroke.
- 17% of carers who had taken a break of more than a few hours experienced mental ill-health compared to 36% of carers who did not have such a break since beginning their caring role.
Carers caring for someone with with dementia
- There are currently 800,000 people living in the UK with dementia.
- There are 670,000 unpaid carers of people with dementia in the UK.
- Two thirds of people with dementia live at home and most are supported by unpaid carers.
Carers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
- There are 5,430,016 carers in England.
- 166,363 of the carers in England are children.
- There are around 759,000 carers aged 16+ in Scotland - 17% of the adult population.
- There are 36,821 carers aged under 25 in Scotland.
- 370,230 people are carers.
- 11,000 carers in Wales are children.
- 213,980 people are carers.
- 30,000 carers in Northern Ireland are children.