Definition of undercount in English:



  • Enumerate (something, especially a sector of a population in a census) at a lower figure than the actual figure.

    ‘they have been accused of undercounting the homeless’
    ‘Baltimore's population was undercounted by about 36,000 people’
    • ‘‘We are way undercounting those under 30 in phone surveys,’ a marketing researcher wrote to me.’
    • ‘The issue, therefore, as it pertains to our study is one of undercounting the total number of nursing home admissions-which exerts selective effects on our analyses.’
    • ‘The results of each census are invariably challenged by states and ethnic groups that believe they have been undercounted and therefore will be shortchanged in the sharing of the national pie.’
    • ‘They argue that even if deferred taxes are undercounted, the sum is too small to affect the enormous fiscal gap projected between long-term revenues and outlays.’
    • ‘Internet polls often undercount older voters, rural residents and minorities; they also overcount young voters.’
    • ‘The African American population was one of the most severely undercounted populations in the nation.’
    • ‘It speculates that perhaps the 1991 Census undercounted Bombay's population slightly.’
    • ‘There is general agreement, however, that figures for direct marketing in Oregon and elsewhere are undercounted.’
    • ‘Workers detailed the ways they are cheated out of their wages by spurious fees, endemic undercounting of apples picked under the piece rate pay system.’
    • ‘From the late 1960s, big-city mayors and civil rights leaders charged that the census undercounted minorities and the poor.’
    • ‘The household survey used to ascertain the annual poverty rate tends to undercount family income slightly because of underreporting, and therefore also exaggerates the extent of impoverishment.’
    • ‘So if the statisticians are undercounting labor, productivity may be less impressive than advertised.’
    • ‘Oft-cited Census data apparently overstate the number of uninsured because they undercount the number of people covered by Medicaid.’
    • ‘In the midst of that, two American researchers used DNA analysis of whales to argue that North Atlantic whales have been drastically undercounted historically.’
    • ‘Executives cautioned that the figures were very preliminary, but the early information supported the widely held notion that traditional ratings techniques undercount the number of viewers watching cable.’
    • ‘Although vastly undercounted by the U.S. Census, the Haitian population in South Florida has been estimated to be approximately half a million.’
    • ‘The Census Bureau has estimated that in their 2000 exercise 4.3 million people were undercounted, and about 1 million were overcounted, giving a net loss of 3.3 million people.’
    • ‘Since census figures were released two weeks ago, Hempfield Township officials have insisted their community was undercounted.’
    • ‘Slum populations are often deliberately and sometimes massively undercounted.’
    • ‘Government and scientific studies indicate that tuna boat observers are undercounting dolphin mortality in the fishery.’


  • 1A count or figure that is inaccurately low.

    ‘an undercount would thwart this progress’
    • ‘The report draws on the 1996 and 2001 censuses, which contain a 10 percent and 16 percent undercount, respectively.’
    • ‘An undercount costs millions of dollars over the course of 10 years.’
    • ‘These figures are probably an undercount, since owners tried to hide horses from the tax collector.’
    • ‘Some say it was only about 250,000 people, but I say it was the greatest undercount in the history of America.’
    • ‘That's a lot of children - and most likely an undercount.’
    • ‘Lynch and others have pointed out that the estimate of 64,000 computers was a serious undercount.’
    • ‘The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Census Bureau could not create statistical models to fill the projected gaps in the undercount as a way of ‘reapportioning’ U.S. Congressional districts.’
    • ‘The 1990 undercount also proved frustrating for scholars who use demographic data to conduct their research.’
    • ‘The state cited concerns about large undercounts on the machines in the November elections.’
    • ‘We do believe there'll be a smaller undercount this year than in 1990.’
    • ‘In Connecticut the net undercount of state's residents in the 1990 census exceeded 21,000.’
    • ‘This massive undercount is not the only problem.’
    1. 1.1The amount by which an undercount falls short of the actual count or figure.
      ‘other states had significantly larger undercounts’
      • ‘First, because it fails to account for improvements in living standards over time, our poverty measure yields a significant undercount of those who are materially deprived compared to the rest of us.’
      • ‘Some leaders of those groups claim that's a significant undercount.’
      • ‘The Census Bureau first detected significant undercounts 20 years ago, when the response rate to the 1980 nationwide mailing fell to a 75 percent from a 78 percent response in 1970.’