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In number theory, a deficient or deficient number is a number n for which the sum of divisors σ(n)<2n, or, equivalently, the sum of proper divisors (or aliquot sum) s(n)<n. The value 2n − σ(n) (or n − s(n)) is called the number's deficiency.


The first few deficient numbers are:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, … (sequence A005100 in OEIS)

As an example, consider the number 21. Its divisors are 1, 3, 7 and 21, and their sum is 32. Because 32 is less than 2 × 21, the number 21 is deficient. Its deficiency is 2 × 21 − 32 = 10.


  • An infinite number of both even and odd deficient numbers exist
  • All odd numbers with one or two distinct prime factors are deficient
  • All proper divisors of deficient or perfect numbers are deficient.
  • There exists at least one deficient number in the interval [n, n + (\log n)^2] for all sufficiently large n.[1]

Related concepts[edit]

Closely related to deficient numbers are perfect numbers with σ(n) = 2n, and abundant numbers with σ(n) > 2n. The natural numbers were first classified as either deficient, perfect or abundant by Nicomachus in his Introductio Arithmetica (circa 100).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sándor et al (2006) p.108

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deficient_number — Please support Wikipedia.
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