04 September 2019 - 07 September 2019
Granada, Spain

Happiness in a multicultural world

IIASA scientists Wolfgang Lutz and Anastasia Aldelina Lijadi will present latest research from the ERC funded IIASA project "The Demography of Sustainable Human Wellbeing" at the annual conference of the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies.

Meet up of pensioners © Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime.com

Meet up of pensioners © Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime.com

This conference deals with scientific research or best practice examples in all areas in quality-of-life, with a focus on well-being and happiness. The theme of the Conference is Happiness in a Multicultural World. Many cultures have coexisted peacefully in the past and do so today. Taking this into consideration, the organizers want the conference to be an inspiration for happiness and quality of life towards peace and tolerance and understanding between different peoples.

World Population Program Director Wolfgang Lutz and researcher Anastasia Aldelina Lijadi will present a recent paper entitled "Years of Good Life (YoGL): A well-being indicator tailored for serving as sustainable development criterion" at this conference. Lijadi joined the World Population (POP) Program as Research Scholar in September 2017. Lutz won the prestigious ERC Advanced Grant in 2017 to study the demography of sustainable human wellbeing. The project aims to make an unconventional cross-disciplinary contribution to advancing the discussion around and search for broadly acceptable and empirically measurable quantitative indicators of socioeconomic progress and long-term human well-being that can serve as criteria for judging sustainable development. 

For more information please visit the event website.


Years of Good Life (YoGL): A well-being indicator tailored for serving as sustainable development criterion

The sustainable wellbeing of all human population groups today and in the future is the overarching goal of sustainable development (SD) as defined by the Brundtland Commission and as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To assess whether progress in this direction is being made, large numbers of quantitative indicators have been defined by various organizations and scientists. These indicators either cover certain partial aspects of SD or try to give weighted averages of a broad range of aspects, which typically can only be assessed for the past but not modelled for the future. Yet, sustainability science calls for a comprehensive indicator of human wellbeing (W) that can both be empirically assessed and modelled in its future trends as a function of influencing factors, including possible feedbacks from environmental change. Here we propose a tailor-made indicator to serve precisely this purpose following the specification of six explicit criteria that should be met. Years of Good Life (YoGL) is based on the fact that in order to be able to enjoy any quality of life, one has to be alive. But since mere survival is not considered as good enough, life years are counted conditional on meeting minimum standards in three objective dimensions (being out of absolute poverty and enjoying physical and cognitive health) and in the subjective dimension of life satisfaction. We present the theoretical foundations, discuss the data requirements and methods for calculating the indicator and illustrate its application to populations at different stages of development.

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Last edited: 09 May 2019


Wolfgang Lutz

Senior Program Advisor:Acting Research Group Leader

Population and Just Societies Program|Social Cohesion


and Wellbeing Research Group

T +43(0) 2236 807 294

Anastasia Aldelina Lijadi

Executive Assistant to the DDGS

Directorate - DDG For Science

T +43(0) 2236 807 523

IIASA project

The Demography of Sustainable Human Wellbeing

Research at IIASA's World Population Program


Lutz, W. (2017). Studying the Demography of Sustainable Human Wellbeing: Empowered Life Years (ELY) as Sustainability Criterion. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-17-009

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