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Only 2.4% of the 113th Congresss were Asian-Americans; by one count, fewer than 2% of state legislators are.

What's the meaning of "by one count"?

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    Please provide a link to the source, or at least tell us where you found this. (Here's why.) – J.R. Oct 10 '15 at 9:08
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For many things only estimates of the number of people is possible, for example numbers of people at an unticketed public event, or the number of people who watch a television program. There are several methods of making those estimates. Hence by one count refers to the number generated by one of the (possibly many) method of estimating the count.

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According to Wictionary, the noun count has the following meaning:

The act of counting or tallying a quantity.

Give the chairs a quick count to check if we have enough.

It is not extremely difficult to count how many Asian-Americans are sitting in Congress (2.4%) and 50 states' legislatures (fewer than 2%).

They just counted all of them once and it revealed the fact.

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