The number of people aged 20, the legal age of adulthood in Japan, was estimated to have reached 1.26 million on New Year's Day 2015, the first increase in 21 years, government statistics showed on Wednesday.

Of that total, 650,000 are men and 610,000 are women. The number of new adults in the country is up 50,000 from 2014, according to the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.

The upturn is believed to be attributable to a baby-boom generation having reached the age of parenthood roughly two decades ago. The number of people aged 20 years old, which had been on a downward trend since 1995, is expected to fall to 1.06 million in 2025 after showing modest ups and downs.

The new adults make up 0.99 percent of Japan's total population of around 127.07 million as of Dec. 1, falling below 1 percent for the fifth straight year.

Among celebrities who have newly reached the age of adulthood are figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, who won a gold medal in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and professional baseball player Shohei Otani of the Nippon Ham Fighters.

The number of people who were born in the Year of the Sheep, which falls in 2015 according to the 12-sign Chinese zodiac, stands at 10.07 million in Japan, with 4.88 million men and 5.19 million women, the statistics showed.