• Kyodo


There will be 1.23 million people age 20, the nation’s legal age of adulthood, on New Year’s Day 2017, up 20,000 from a year earlier, the government said Saturday.

But the percentage of new adults within the country’s population of 126.86 million is just 0.97 percent, below the 1 percent mark for the seventh consecutive year, according to preliminary statistics compiled by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Of the 1.23 million new adults, 630,000 are men and 600,000 are women.

The increased number of new adults are the children of the so-called “second baby-boomers,” who were born between 1971 and 1974.

However, the number of new adults has been trending downward since 1995, hitting lows of 1.21 million in both 2014 and 2016 according to statistics going back to 1968.

With 2017 being the Year of the Rooster under the Chinese zodiac, the government also released the figures for the total number of people born under that sign. At 4.57 million men and 4.86 million women, the total of 9.43 million is the lowest among the 12 signs in the zodiac.

The number is low because there was no Year of the Rooster during either the first baby boom (1947-1949) or second baby boom. It is also believed that the fewer births that occurred in 1945 (Year of the Rooster) when World War II ended is another factor.

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