Catching Up with Bullying Statistics

Girl scared with sweater pulled up

“Life is a fight, but not everyone’s a fighter. Otherwise, bullies would be an endangered species.”  ― Andrew Vachss

Each year, new and more detailed statistics on the problem of youth bullying at school come out. This year is no different and with the school year approaching, it’s a good time to remind ourselves of what the climate of bullying looks like for our youth. We already know the historical facts. 160,000 youth stay home each day, due to bullying (“Bullying and Suicide”, n.d.). Bullied youth are two to 9 times more likely to attempt suicide (“Bullying and Suicide,” 2015.). More alarming, bullying victims are twice as likely to bring a weapon to school (Rapaport, 2017).

But what about the study facts? The National Center for Education and Statistics (“Fast Facts,” n.d.) conducted a recent study of the types of bullying at schools and here are the findings by type of bullying:

  • 20.8% of youth are bullied at school
    • 18.8% of these children are male
    • 22.8% of these children are female
  • 13.3% are bullied by being made fun of, called names or insulted
    • 12.7% of these children are male
    • 13.9% of these children are female

  • 12.3% of youth are subject of rumors
    • 9.1% of these children are male
    • 15.5% of these children are female

  • 5.1% of youth reported being physically hurt or spit on
    • 6% of these children are male
    • 4.2% of these children are female

  • 5% of youth are excluded from school actives on purpose
    • 4.4% of these children are male
    • 5.7% of these children are female

  • 3.9% of youth are threatened with harm
    • 4.8% of these children are male
    • 2.9% of these children are female

  • 2.5% of youth are made to do things they don’t want to do
    • 2.7% of these children are male
    • 2.3% of these children are female
  • 1.8% of youth had their property destroyed on purpose
    • 1.9% of these children are male
    • 1.8% of these children are female

Statistics from

On the surface, these may not seem like big numbers. But add up 20% of all youth at schools. This is also at any given time, so these numbers can vary a bit. Regardless of what they say, the percentages are alarming in any case as they lead to the bigger numbers mentioned at the beginning of the article. We need to stay conscious of these studies and be judicious in looking at school bullying and changing the paradigm. Are things shifting yet? I don’t believe we see a major shift. We certainly know more about youth bullying today, but that doesn’t mean that the statistics change. That requires a community standard and school standard is enforced and that the correct therapeutic solutions be used for both bullying victims and bullies.


Bullying and Suicide – Bullying Statistics. (2015, July 7). Retrieved from

Fast Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Rapaport, L. (2017, November 30). Bullied teens twice as likely to bring weapons to school. Retrieved from

Photo by Joseph Gonzalez on Unsplash

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About Alan Eisenberg

Alan Eisenberg is a Certified Life Coach, Bullying Recovery activist and author of "A Ladder In The Dark: My journey from bullying to self-acceptance" and "Crossing the Line". He has been writing and speaking to various audiences about the issue of C-PTSD and Bullying Recovery. Mr. Eisenberg has been featured on several print, radio shows and podcasts on this issue, including NPR and in the Boston Globe. He is currently working toward his Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling.
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