The Isles of Scilly is facing health and social care challenges that will not be experienced by the mainland for 40 years.
The proportion of the current Isles of Scilly population that is aged 65 or older is equivalent to that projected for England and Wales in 2059.
The stark figures were included in a report by the Council's Senior Manager for Services to our Community Aisling Khan about the long-term viability of care on the islands.
The report, for today's meeting of the Scrutiny Committee, says that Scilly has one of the most rapidly ageing populations in the country, meaning that the 'planning and delivery issues currently facing those responsible for health and care in the islands will not face much of the mainland for another 40 years or more. This challenge is only going to become more acute'.
The paper continues: 'More than a quarter (25.8%) of the current islands' population is aged 65 or over - the same proportion as Japan, recognised as the country with the highest proportion of older people in the world.
'In ten years’ time this is projected to rise to 29.5% and by 2036 to 32.3% - in other words, nearly one in three of the islands’ population will be 65 or older.'
Scilly's ageing population is at the core of the new Local Plan and proposals to integrate health and social services in the future.