Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) and insulinoma antigen 2 (IA2) antibodies are increasingly used as a tool to predict type I diabetes in children and as a differential diagnostic tool to distinguish type I and type II diabetes in adults. However, the background frequency of these antibodies in the general population has not been extensively studied and may differ between countries. The current study aims to establish the frequency of GAD and IA2 antibodies in an unselected population of schoolchildren and confirm the previously reported low prevalence of islet cell antibodies (ICA) in the general Dutch population. The study population consisted of 1403 unselected schoolchildren. All children were tested for GAD antibodies, and 1085 children were analyzed for IA2 antibodies by radiobinding assay. Development of diabetes was recorded during a 7-year follow-up. Five children (0.4%) were positive for GAD antibodies, one child (0.1%) was positive for IA2 antibodies. Two children developed diabetes during follow-up, one was positive for GAD antibodies only, the second was positive for both GAD and IA2 antibodies. The frequency of GAD and IA2 antibodies in the southwestern part of The Netherlands is low. This observation is in concordance with earlier studies on ICA in Dutch schoolchildren. For future diabetes prediction and intervention trials it is important to establish the background frequencies and predictive power of antibody screening in different populations.