Japan suffers biggest natural population decline ever in 2018

A father holds up his baby under carp streamers fluttering in a riverside park in Sagamihara, suburban Tokyo, on April 29, 2016, ahead of May 5 Children's Day in Japan.

(CNN)Japan suffered its biggest natural population decline ever this year, government statistics show.

The fast-graying nation also posted a record-low birthrate, as the estimated number of babies born in 2018 dipped to 921,000 -- the lowest since records began in 1899 -- according to a report published Friday by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
The number of newborns is estimated to have shrunk by 25,000 from 2017, and the figure remains under the 1 million mark for the third year running.