I am trying to use the QGIS Field Calculator to calculate the sum of a specific attribute ('demo_field') for features in a layer to the sum of the same attribute for features that share the same y-coordinate. However, I am encountering an issue with the following expression:

aggregate(layer:= 'layer_name', aggregate:='sum', expression:='demo_field', filter:= y(@geometry)=y(geometry(@parent)))

The error message is "Eval Error: Could not calculate aggregate for: 'demo_Field' (Cannot calculate sum on string values)."

How can I correctly calculate the sum of the attribute for each feature based on the y-coordinate?

Also, what if I dont want to give the 'layer_name' but want the current layer to be used without specifying the 'layer_name'? The reason for this is I also want to use this expression in graphical modeler.

  • Column data type was the first thing I checked after I received that error. I just figured out that if the column name is written without inverted comma, this works.
    – unknown123
    Dec 5, 2023 at 21:31
  • 1
    Indeed! Single quotes ' are used for textstrings. Fieldnames are used with double quotes " or without any quotes at all.
    – Babel
    Dec 5, 2023 at 21:34
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    Oops, Thank you. This is new for me as I am still learning to use expression. Thanks. :)
    – unknown123
    Dec 5, 2023 at 21:35

1 Answer 1


The column name should not be in inverted comma. The correct solution would be:

    layer:= @layer, 
    expression:= demo_field,
    filter:= y(@geometry)=y(geometry(@parent))

This worked for me here. Also, it will be necessary to check the data type of column. If it is in string, its better to convert using to_real() or to_int().

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