Asymptotic density

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A variant of the general concept of the density of a sequence of natural numbers; which measures how large a part of the sequence of all natural numbers belongs to the given sequence $A$ of natural numbers including zero. The (lower) asymptotic density of a sequence $A$ is expressed by the real number $\alpha$ defined by the formula

$$ \alpha=\liminf_{x\to\infty}\frac{A(x)}{x},$$


$$ A(x)=\sum_{\substack{a\in A\\0<a\leq x}}1,\quad x\geq 1.$$

The number


is known as the upper asymptotic density. If the numbers $\alpha$ and $\beta$ coincide, their common value is called the natural density. Thus, for instance, the sequence of numbers that are free from squares has the natural density $\delta=6/\pi^2$. The concept of an asymptotic density is employed in finding criteria for some sequence to be an asymptotic basis.


[HaRo] H. Halberstam, K.F. Roth, "Sequences" , 1 , Clarendon Press (1966) Zbl 0141.04405 (repr. 1983) ISBN 0-387-90801-3 Zbl 0498.10001
How to Cite This Entry:
Asymptotic density. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL:
This article was adapted from an original article by B.M. Bredikhin (originator), which appeared in Encyclopedia of Mathematics - ISBN 1402006098. See original article