The concept of healthy life expectancy is defined as the number of years a person of a particular age is expected to live in good health, assuming the current risks of mortality and ill health do not change. Good health can be defined as the absence of chronic diseases and physical limitations or as perceived good health or good mental health.
Healthy life expectancy is calculated by means of the Sullivan method. Firstly, mortality risk and life expectancy are calculated for each age category. Subsequently, the life expectancy for is each age category is divided into healthy and unhealthy years based on the percentage of unhealthy people in each age category, e.g. the percentage of people with at least one physical limitation.