Despite the need for services which are culturally appropriate there is a dearth of robust research on the impact of ethnic background on dementia and caregiving. A literature search has revealed a relative lack of published research from the UK, with more US studies available. This paper provides a review of the literature on these topics and includes a critique of ethnicity categorisation and commonly held assumptions. It explores the complexities of the concept of ethnicity and examines its significance in relation to understandings of health and illness in general, and dementia in particular. Ethnic background appears to account for differences in experiences of dementia and caregiving, but other compounding variables, including socio-economic factors and education, also need to be taken into account when considering the experiences of specific ethnic communities. The paper concludes that ethnicity is significant in regard to how people experience dementia and caregiving, but also highlights a continuing need for research which explores the impact of ethnic background in a sensitive and sophisticated manner.