Under-reporting usually refers to some issue, incident, statistic, etc., that individuals, responsible agencies, or news media have not reported, or have reported as less than the actual level or amount. Under-reporting of crimes, for example, makes it hard to figure the actual incidence of crimes.
Under-reporting is a failure in data reporting.
Various estimates have been provided in relation to under-reporting of crimes across the world. According to the American Medical Association (1995), sexual violence, and rape in particular, is considered the most under-reported violent crime. Common reasons for individuals not reporting crime include fear of not being believed, insecurity, and fear of getting into trouble. These reasons are most common for not reporting rape. It is commonly assumed that most of the rape cases go unreported; some estimates go up to or above 90%. (also see: Rape Reporting) Non-recognition of domestic violence may lead to under-reporting.
Murders are sometimes not reported. Due to the fear of alleged murderer's connection with the other murderer, or because of settlement.
In 2012, the universities of Leicester and Westminster, while collaborating with Serious Organised Crime Agency, estimated that 200,000 people had been victims of online dating fraud. The report included instances of under-reported frauds.
Under-reported dengue in India, Polio in China, Pakistan, disability in Malaysia, remains a problem. In the United States, it was estimated in 1989 that 40% of the Aids cases in South Carolina went unreported. In 2008, out of 2,460 deaths from AIDS-related illnesses during a six-year period in Washington, DC, an estimated of 1,337 had not been reported.
Under-reporting of population in countries such as China has been documented.
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- Underreporting of Births and Infant Deaths in Rural China: Evidence from Field Research in One County of Northern China, No. 155 (Sep., 1998), pp. 637-655