Definition: Healthy life years
The indicator is defined as the number of years that a person is expected to continue to live in a healthy condition. It is compiled separately for males and females, at birth and at age 65. It is based on age-specific prevalence (proportions) of the population in healthy and unhealthy conditions and age-specifi c mortality information. A healthy condition is defined by the absence of limitations in functioning/disability. The indicator is also called disability-free life expectancy.
The indicator is calculated following the widely used Sullivan method. It is based on prevalence measures of the agespecific proportion of population with and without disabilities and on mortality data. Its interest lies in its simplicity, the availability of its basic data and its independence of the size and age structure of the population. Nevertheless, cultural diff erences in reporting disability can influence the indicator.
Eurostat, "Measuring progress towards a more sustainable Europe. Sustainable development indicators for the European Union. Data 1990-2005", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 2005