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.


Fact Sheet climate change and demography

12 May 2022

Fact Sheet Climate Change and Demography

The reciprocal relationships between human populations and the environment becomes increasingly important in the light of climate change. Researchers from IIASA and Wittgenstein Centre published the Fact Sheet Climate Change and Demography, providing information for policy makers and scientists about some key areas where demography can contribute to climate research.
Elderley woman in mask

11 January 2022

Health fears can increase pandemic isolation habits in older Europeans

A study found that older Europeans are more likely to stick to pandemic rules if they think they are unhealthier than they actually are.


Family wears protective mask while walking in the city

Demographic perspectives of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic

Senior couple reading book in park



17 June 2021

Getting a fuller picture of COVID-19 infections

Options Summer 2021: Knowing how many people are infected is key to accurately monitor pandemics. IIASA researchers used a novel approach to indirectly estimate the fraction of people ever infected and the fraction of people detected among the infected in the United States.
Diagram of COVID infection rates

24 June 2020

The gender dimension of sustainable development

Options Summer 2020: Our world is in the midst of an economic transformation as labor upheavals and climate change wreak havoc on present sustainability models. Could a focus on women’s empowerment help find a way out?
female head illustration