Richard Estes Visits Sweden to Discuss Social Development

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Media Contact: | | October 3, 2003

WHO:  Richard Estes, professor of social work at the University of Pennsylvania and president of the International Society of Quality of Life Studies

WHAT: Lecture and news conference

WHEN:  Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2003, 10 a.m.

WHERE:Statistics Sweden in Stockholm

Richard Estes will deliver a major address at the annual Conference on Swedish Quality of Life sponsored by Statistics Sweden in Stockholm.

Since 1970, Estes has applied a Weighted Index of Social Development measuring factors such as education, health, economy, welfare and social chaos to rank overall quality of life in 163 nations.  Denmark and Sweden currently rank highest.  Joachin Vogel, social welfare analyst with Statistics Sweden and the University of Umea, will join Estes at a news conference after the lecture to discuss how WISP rankings differ from those that result from rankings based on per capita gross domestic product.  By the GDP index, Sweden has trailed its major competitors even with a 36 percent increase in household income since 1975.

Estes is the author of numerous books and articles dealing with comparative social development. The current report on the Index of Social Development, which will be presented in Stockholm, is the fourth in a series of studies that measure the changing capacity of the world nations to meet at least the basic needs of their populations.  Estes also is the incoming president of the International Society for Quality of Life Studies and is the recipient of many international prizes and awards for his comparative work.  While in Sweden he will discuss a number of issues related to the impact of European economic integration on development trends occurring throughout the world.