The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century; the islands were occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945.
Indonesia declared its independence after Japan's surrender, but it required four years of intermittent negotiations, recurring hostilities, and UN mediation before the Netherlands agreed to relinquish its colony.
Indonesia is the world's largest archipelagic state and home to the world's largest Muslim population.
Population: 234,693,997 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 28.7% (male 34,309,176/female 33,148,341) 15-64 years: 65.6% (male 77,132,708/female 76,731,481) 65 years and over: 5.7% (male 5,956,471/female 7,415,820) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 26.9 years male: 26.4 years female: 27.4 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.213% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 19.65 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 6.25 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.035 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.005 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.803 male(s)/female total population: 1.001 male(s)/female
Infant mortality rate: total: 32.14 deaths/1,000 live births male: 37.39 deaths/1,000 live births female: 26.63 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 70.16 years male: 67.69 years female: 72.76 years
Total fertility rate: 2.38 children born/woman