The aim of this study was to apply the International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicap (ICIDH; WHO 1980) parallel to the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS; Palisano et al. 1997) in a population-based series of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Of the 116 children studied, birth characteristics, data on gross motor function, and level of handicap at 5 to 6 years of age, were retrospectively collected from medical records and documentation made by rehabilitation team members. Low handicap scores and mild levels of gross motor disability were present in children with hemiplegic CP, moderate scores in children with diplegic CP, simple ataxia, and athetotic CP, and high scores in children with dystonic CP and tetraplegic CP. A significant correlation was found between high handicap scores as well as high levels on the GMFCS and the presence of learning disability, epilepsy, and obvious aetiology of CP. A strong correlation was found between the handicap code and the GMFCS, the strongest concerning the dimension of mobility (r=0.95, p<0.0001). A striking similarity in the grading of disability was present between the ICIDH handicap code and the GMFCS. The GMFCS is considerably less time-consuming and can be evaluated retrospectively. The handicap code requires more detailed information and is more useful for a comprehensive profile of the child.