The SHAW Group’s research activities directly and comprehensively addresses the measurement of human wellbeing in its multiple dimensions with a special focus on health as a key component and social cohesion as a key determinant of wellbeing.

SHAW employs various demographic methods, statistical techniques, and empirical concepts to comprehensively assess different dimensions of good health and wellbeing, while also considering equity in the distribution of wellbeing over time and over the life course for different populations around the world. In doing so, the group aims to develop alternative indicators of wellbeing to effectively measure development progress. The aim is for such indicators of wellbeing to be applied as long-term sustainability criteria that can help to pinpoint vulnerable subgroups of populations for policy priorities. Due to the group’s strong focus on sustainable human wellbeing, particular attention is paid to the feedback of emerging situations such as pandemics, economic crises, and extreme weather events that can pose risks to human health and wellbeing.

Models, tools, datasets

Population of the world

Wittgenstein Centre Human Capital Data & Graphic Explorer Version 3.0 (WCDE)


Senior couple with nordic walking poles hiking in snow-covered winter nature.

The Demography of Sustainable Human Wellbeing (EmpoweredLifeYears)

grandparents using tablet

Cognitive health in aging society – The role of context for cognitive functioning and related policy implications in Europe (CHIAS)

handshaking in modern open green work space

Sustainability Performances, Evidence and Scenarios (SPES)


Roman Hoffmann profile picture

Roman Hoffmann

Research Group Leader and Senior Research Scholar (MIG); Acting Research Group Leader and Senior Research Scholar (SHAW)

Josephine Borghi profile picture

Josephine Borghi

Research Group Leader and Principal Research Scholar (SHAW)

Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz profile picture

Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz

Research Scholar (SHAW, EF)

Sergei Scherbov profile picture

Sergei Scherbov

Distinguished Emeritus Research Scholar (SHAW)



22 February 2024

Master's Programme "Global Demography"

The Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna) will start Master's Programme "Global Demography" at the University of Vienna with its fourth cohort of students in October 2024.
Female doctore with elderly male patient, both are wearing a mask.

08 November 2023

Accurately calculating life expectancy since COVID-19

By how much did life expectancy fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic? A new study suggests that pandemics require a new method to accurately calculate life expectancy: “hybrid life expectancy” takes the duration of the pandemic into account, revealing that health crises have much smaller impact on life expectancy than previous studies have suggested.
IIASA recognizes researchers as Distinguished Emeritus Research Scholars

16 August 2023

IIASA recognizes researchers as Distinguished Emeritus Research Scholars

In a momentous celebration of their outstanding contributions to systems analysis and lifelong dedication to IIASA, five eminent researchers have been honored with the esteemed title of IIASA Distinguished Emeritus Research Scholar.


08 November 2023

Explaining the impacts of climate change on migration

Options Magazine, Winter 2023: There has been much debate around the impact of climate change on migration. The international discourses around this topic, however, have often been more politically charged and less backed by science.

07 September 2022

The migration maze

To navigate the intricate intersection of climate change, migration, and urbanization, we need a holistic approach.
Family stranded on island during flooding in the delta Bangladesh due to climate change