Study design: A multicenter prospective cohort study. Objective: To compare the demographic data of the included population with other studied spinal cord injury (SCI) populations in the international literature. Setting: Eight Dutch rehabilitation centers with a specialized SCI unit. Methods: A total of 205 individuals with SCI participated in this study. Information about personal, lesion and rehabilitation characteristics were collected at the beginning of active rehabilitation by means of a questionnaire. Results: The research group mainly consisted of men (74%), of individuals with a paraplegia (59%), and had a complete lesion (68%). The SCI was mainly caused by a trauma (75%), principally due to a traffic accident (42%). The length of clinical rehabilitation varied between 2 months and more than a year, which seemed to be dependent on the lesion characteristics and related comorbidity. Conclusions: The personal and lesion characteristics of the subjects of the multi-center study were comparable to data of other studies, although fewer older subjects and subjects with an incomplete lesion were included due to the inclusion criteria'age' and 'wheelchair-dependent'. The length of stay in rehabilitation centers in The Netherlands was longer compared to Denmark but much longer than in eg Australia and the USA. © 2006 International Spinal Cord Society. All rights reserved.