Talk about an aging nation. The number of centenarians rose by 4,124 from a year ago to a high of 65,692 in September, the welfare ministry said Tuesday.

There are almost 52 of them per 100,000 people, with women accounting for 87.6 percent of the total.

The number of centenarians has soared over the past half-century and is projected to grow further, mainly thanks to advances in medical science, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.