Definition of undercount in English:



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

    • ‘The African American population was one of the most severely undercounted populations in the nation.’
    • ‘In the midst of that, two American researchers used DNA analysis of whales to argue that North Atlantic whales have been drastically undercounted historically.’
    • ‘Internet polls often undercount older voters, rural residents and minorities; they also overcount young voters.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Although vastly undercounted by the U.S. Census, the Haitian population in South Florida has been estimated to be approximately half a million.’
    • ‘From the late 1960s, big-city mayors and civil rights leaders charged that the census undercounted minorities and the poor.’
    • ‘It speculates that perhaps the 1991 Census undercounted Bombay's population slightly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘We are way undercounting those under 30 in phone surveys,’ a marketing researcher wrote to me.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There is general agreement, however, that figures for direct marketing in Oregon and elsewhere are undercounted.’
    • ‘Since census figures were released two weeks ago, Hempfield Township officials have insisted their community was undercounted.’
    • ‘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.’


  • 1A count or figure that is inaccurately low.

    • ‘An undercount costs millions of dollars over the course of 10 years.’
    • ‘The state cited concerns about large undercounts on the machines in the November elections.’
    • ‘That's a lot of children - and most likely an undercount.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The 1990 undercount also proved frustrating for scholars who use demographic data to conduct their research.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These figures are probably an undercount, since owners tried to hide horses from the tax collector.’
    • ‘This massive undercount is not the only problem.’
    • ‘The report draws on the 1996 and 2001 censuses, which contain a 10 percent and 16 percent undercount, respectively.’
    • ‘Some say it was only about 250,000 people, but I say it was the greatest undercount in the history of America.’
    • ‘Lynch and others have pointed out that the estimate of 64,000 computers was a serious undercount.’
    1. 1.1The amount by which a count or figure falls short of the actual figure.
      • ‘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.’