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In this paper, we develop a transmit power adaptation method that maximizes the total data rate of multiuser orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) systems in a downlink transmission. We generally formulate the data rate maximization problem by allowing that a subcarrier could be shared by multiple users. The transmit power adaptation scheme is derived by solving the maximization problem via two steps: subcarrier assignment for users and power allocation for subcarriers. We have found that the data rate of a multiuser OFDM system is maximized when each subcarrier is assigned to only one user with the best channel gain for that subcarrier and the transmit power is distributed over the subcarriers by the water-filling policy. In order to reduce the computational complexity in calculating water-filling level in the proposed transmit power adaptation method, we also propose a simple method where users with the best channel gain for each subcarrier are selected and then the transmit power is equally distributed among the subcarriers. Results show that the total data rate for the proposed transmit power adaptation methods significantly increases with the number of users owing to the multiuser diversity effects and is greater than that for the conventional frequency-division multiple access (FDMA)-like transmit power adaptation schemes. Furthermore, we have found that the total data rate of the multiuser OFDM system with the proposed transmit power adaptation methods becomes even higher than the capacity of the AWGN channel when the number of users is large enough.