Far fewer people died or were left homeless by last year's devastating earthquake than claimed by Haitian leaders, a report commissioned by the U.S. government has concluded — challenging a central premise behind the aid and reconstruction effort.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Far fewer people died or were left homeless by last year’s devastating earthquake than claimed by Haitian leaders, a report commissioned by the U.S. government has concluded — challenging a central premise behind the aid and reconstruction effort.

The report estimates the death toll was between 46,000 and 85,000, far below Haiti’s official figure of 316,000. The report was prepared for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Haitian authorities stood by their figures.