1.17 million 20-year-olds in Japan, fewest on record

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Young people attend a coming-of-age ceremony in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture, on Jan. 10, 2022.

Turning 20 used to mean becoming an adult in Japan, until the revised Civil Code went into effect in April 2022 to lower the age of adulthood to 18.

The number of people born in 2002 who have turned 20 as of Jan. 1, 2023, was at a record low of 1.17 million, according to an estimate by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry. Of this number, there were 600,000 men and 570,000 women.

This was 60,000 people less than the estimate of 20-year-olds made at the same time last year.

As a percentage of Japan’s overall population of 124.77 million, 20-year-olds made up 0.93%, falling below 1% for the 13th consecutive year.

Estimates were also made this time for young adults born in 2003 who have turned 19 and in 2004 who have turned 18. There were 1.13 million 19-year-olds and 1.12 million 18-year-olds, meaning the total population of people who have become adults was about 3.41 million.

From 2024, the ministry will only estimate the number of people who turned 18.