Current dementia data sources in Australia

National dementia statistics in Australia come from a variety of data sources. At present this includes administrative data, surveys, program data, expenditure data, burden of disease studies and enduring linked data sets. Figure 3.1 shows an overview of current national data sources and the areas of dementia disease progression captured by each source. Current data sources used for dementia monitoring often collect data relevant to multiple monitoring areas, however, there are limitations. See Benefits and limitations of main national data sources for more detail.

There is also no single data source to derive dementia prevalence for Australia. Current dementia prevalence estimates for Australia are generated using different methodologies applied to data from international studies and small-scale Australian epidemiological studies.

The following pages present information on the following data sources for national dementia monitoring:

Current data sources and other data sources that could contribute to dementia monitoring in the future (for example, emerging sources that are currently being developed) are summarised in the Appendix. Dementia data sources and issues are also discussed in the following reports: Dementia data gaps and opportunities (AIHW 2020a), Australia’s health 2020: data insights (Chapter 8: Dementia data in Australia – understanding gaps and opportunities) (AIHW 2020b) and Dementia in Australia (AIHW 2023).

Figure 3.1. National data collection coverage across dementia disease progression

Dementia progress through different stages, and different national data sources may be used for reporting on dementia though those stages.