People over 65 with a driver’s license exceeded their counterparts aged 16 to 24 in 2003 for the first time, the National Police Agency said Thursday.

The agency said there were four driver’s license holders 100 or older, and that the oldest was a 104-year-old man in Miyazaki Prefecture, who still drives.

At the end of last year, there were 8.79 million driver’s license holders aged 65 and older, compared with 7.99 million aged 16 to 24. The NPA attributes the phenomenon to the aging population.

The total number of driver’s license holders rose 1.2 percent in 2003 from the previous year to 77.47 million. The NPA said roughly seven out of 10 people over the age of 16, who are legally allowed to obtain a driver’s license for motorcycles, own a license for either motorcycles or cars.

The NPA said 1.52 million new driver’s licenses were issued in 2003, down 2.2 percent from the previous year.

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