The number of 18-year-olds in Japan totaled a record low of 1.06 million as of Monday, a government estimate showed, as the country continues to grapple with a falling birthrate.

The number of those that have reached Japan's legal adult age fell by 60,000 from 2023 and accounted for 0.86% of Japan's total population, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said Sunday.

The year 2005, when the new adults were born, had seen the country's total fertility rate — the average number of children a woman is estimated to bear in her lifetime — fall to a record-low 1.26, later matched by that of 2022.

In Japan, the age of adulthood was lowered from 20 to 18 in April 2022 in a bid to encourage active social participation by youth.

The number of new adults hit a record-high 2.46 million in 1970. Following a decline, the figure surpassed 2 million in the early 1990s when those born between 1971 and 1974 amid a second baby boom reached adulthood. But the number has been on a falling trend since then.

The latest ministry data includes foreign residents living in the country for over three months.