Background: The Netherlands started a nationwide coercion reduction program in 2007. In 2011, accurate registration of coercive measures became obligatory by law. Objective: The aim of this study was to compare number and duration of coercive measures in the Netherlands with international data. Methods: 2011 data on coercive measures were collected, using a system developed in Germany. To understand determinants of coercion, multilevel logistic regression was performed. Results: 12.0 % (n = 5169) of patients (n = 42.960) in 2011 experienced at least one coercive measure. Exposure to coercion was comparable to other countries, and duration was higher. Medication use seemed to half average times in seclusion. In the Netherlands, coercion mainly constituted of seclusion and occurred in bipolar and psychotic disorders. In Germany, coercion was mostly mechanical restraint and occurred in organic disorders and schizophrenia. Conclusions: Gathering comprehensive data allows comparisons between countries, increasing our understanding of the impact of different cultures, legislation and health care systems on coercion. In the Netherlands, seclusion is still the main type of coercion, despite significant improvements in the last few years. It is shorter when applied in combination with enforced medication.