Famously home to one of the world's fastest ageing societies, Japan experienced a record population drop of 123,000 during 2010. The decline is the fourth consecutive annual decline and brings the current population to 125.77 million, according to statistics released by the health ministry. The nation's already ageing population combined with an extreme summer heatwave were believed to have caused deaths to hit a record 1.19 million, an increase of 52,000 compared to the previous year. The rise in deaths overshadowed a slight increase in birth rates, with 1.071 million babies born in Japan last year, marking an increase of 1,000 from 2009.