Health indicators

Healthy Life Years

Data on Healthy Life Years (or "disability-free life expectancy") indicates the number of years a person of a certain age can expect to live without disability. The Healthy Life Years (HLY) indicator is in the core set of the European Structural Indicators as its importance was recognised in the Lisbon Strategy.

What is the indicator used for?


  • monitor health as a productivity/economic factor
  • introduce the concept of quality of life
  • measure the employability of older workers
  • monitor progress made in access, quality and sustainability of healthcare.

How is it calculated?

HLY is calculated using EU mortality tables and information from surveys on self-perceived disability.

More on healthy life years

The EU has funded several projects to look into whether we are living longer, healthier lives: