A new report from AARP estimated the economic value of family caregivers’ unpaid work in 2021 at $600 billion. This figure was based on about 38 million caregivers providing an average of 18 hours of care per week for a total of 36 billion hours of care, at an average value of $16.59 per hour.

AARP said this conservative estimate does not consider the financial cost of care (out-of-pocket and lost wages) or account for the complexity of care provided (i.e., medical/nursing tasks).

The $600 billion estimate for 2021 is up from $470 billion in 2017 and continues a 25-year trend of increasing economic value for the unpaid work that caregivers perform.

The report also takes a detailed look at recent developments and promising federal and state policies that support family caregivers, as well as promising practices in the public and private sectors, including the positive representation of caregivers in popular media. It concludes with specific recommendations. Read the full report.