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Throughout this section, we’ve included statistics from many different sources to give readers a well-rounded view of the scope of the bullying problem. Because statistics on bullying are gathered by different agencies using different methods of data collection, different age groups and time frames, as well as different groups of subjects, the results may vary significantly from study to study. And since even in anonymous surveys people notoriously under-report bad or embarrassing behavior, these stats likely underestimate the scope of the problem. Yet no matter which way you look at it, bullying is a significant social problem in American society, as well as in cultures around the world. Here are some facts and statistics about the bullying problem:

Bullying statistic #1: A child is bullied every 7 minutes of every hour in the USA, according to the National Education Association. (Heller, 2011 )

Bullying statistic #2: More than 55% of all 8 to 15-year-olds think that bullying is a bigger problem than drugs, racism, or HIV-AIDS. (Smith, 2010)

Bullying statistic #3: One survey found that between 15% and 25% of students are frequent victims of bullying, and 15-20% of students are frequent perpetrators. (Heller, 2011)

Bullying statistic #4: A recent study indicated that adults intervene in bullying in only about 4% of bullying incidents. Peers intervened in about 11% of incidents, and in 85% of the incidents no one intervened to stop what was happening. (Smith, 2010, p. 8)

Bullying statistic #5: One survey found that almost 25% of girls felt they did not know 3 adults they could go to for support if they were being bullied. (Girl Scout Research Institute, 2003)

Bullying statistic #6: A Kidscape survey found that approximately 18% of respondents were bullied by gangs of bullies who hung around together, and another 59% were bullied by more than one person. In only a small minority of cases was the bully operating alone. (Kidscape, 1999)

Facts & Statistics About the Prevalence of Bullying

Bullying statistic #1: One survey of 78 public and 22 private schools found that half (50%) of U.S. high school students ages 15 to 18 say they have bullied or teased someone at least once in the past year, and nearly half (47%) say they have been bullied themselves in that time. The study also found that in the last 12 months, 52% of students have hit someone in anger, and 28% (37% of boys, 19% of girls) say it’s acceptable to hit or threaten a person who angers them. (Jayson, 2010)

Bullying statistic #2: A 2010 study by the Josephson Institute of Ethics found that 43% of teens said they had been physically abused, teased, or taunted in a way that seriously upset them. (Hollandsworth, 2011)

Bullying statistic #3: A 2004 survey by Kids Health found that 40% of Children from ages nine to thirteen admitted to bullying. (Turley, 2008)

Bullying statistic #4: An Australian study of more than 38,000 children found that approximately 1 in every 6 kids is bullied at school at least once a week. In a class of 30, this equates to 5 students who are regular victims of bullying. (Sullovan, Cleary & Sullovan, 2004)

Bullying statistic #5: One study presented at the annual meeting for the American Psychological Association that our adolescents tend to underestimate the degree to which their peers are bullied. The survey of 1,454 twelve-to-seventeen-year-olds found that at least one incident of school bullying was reported by 77%; 72% reported being bullied online. But when asked how much their peers may have had similar experiences, just 61% thought peers were bullied at school, 50% online. (Jayson, 8-17-2010)

Bullying statistic #6: A 2000 survey from the Empower Program found that 52% of 14- and 15-year-olds report intimidation “all the time” or “frequently,” compared to 36% of 16- to 17-year-olds. It was also found that bullying is a bigger problem at rural schools than suburban ones: 56% of students at rural schools said the same, compared to 37-39% at urban and suburban schools. (Wiseman, 2009)

Statistics on How Bullying Victims Respond

The same Empower Program survey found that…

  1. Fifty-five percent of girls and 36% of boys said that victims of bullying usually responded by isolating themselves. (Wiseman, 2009)
  1. Thirty-nine percent say victims usually try to hide their feelings of anger and laugh along with their intimidators. (ibid)
  1. Nevertheless, 29% say victims usually plot ways to get back at their bully in the future. (ibid)
  1. Thirty-one percent thought that victims usually reported the behavior to someone at school, but only 13% say they would report it to a parent. (ibid)

Statistics On the Types of Bullying Children Experience

Bullying statistic #1: A British study involving 23 different schools found that direct verbal aggression was the most common form of bullying, occurring with similar frequency in both sexes. (Rivers & Smith, 1994)

Bullying statistic #2: One survey found that of the types of bullying children experience . . .

  • 21% say they were made fun of
  • 18% said they were the subject of rumors
  • 11% say they were pushed, shoved, tripped or spit on
  • 6% say they were threatened with harm
  • 5% say they were excluded from activities on purpose
  • 4% say they were cyberbullied (Hall, 2011)

Bullying statistic #3: The type of bullying children experience can vary according to their gender. A study of middle schools throughout Rome found that the most common types of bullying reported by boys were threats, physical harm, rejection and name-calling. The most common forms among girls were name-calling, teasing, rumors, rejection, and taking personal belongings. (Baldry, 1998)

Bullying statistic #4: A Kidscape survey found similar differences in the types of bullying experienced by each gender…

Types of bullying experienced by males

  • 75% were physically bullied
  • 85% were verbally bullied
  • 30% were excluded or ostracized

Types of bullying experienced by females

  • 62% were physically bullied
  • 93% were verbally bullied
  • 60% were excluded or ostracized (Kidscape, 1999)

Bullying statistic #5: The same survey found that 61% of the victims were bullied by children of the same sex. Thirty-four percent were bullied by both sexes, and a small number were bullied only by members of the opposite sex. Though it was less frequent for a boy to be bullied by girls, girls were often bullied by mixed groups of children. (Kidscape, 1999)

Facts & Statistics About Bullies and Their Victims

Bullying statistic #1: A Norwegian study found that 60% of male bullies in middle school had at least one criminal conviction by age 24, giving bullies a 4-fold increase in the likelihood of criminal behavior. Thirty-five to forty percent had 3 or more convictions. (Olweus, 1992)

Bullying statistic #2: A study of more than 5,000 fifth graders from different cities across the U.S. found that 20% of black children reported experiencing racial prejudice in their lives, as did 15% of Hispanics, 16% of children classified in the “other” category, and 7% of whites. (Elias, 5-6-09)

Bullying statistic #3: A survey from the National Center for Education Statistics found that girls had a slightly higher chance of being bullied than boys, with 33% of girls reporting being bullied at school versus 30% of boys. (Hall, 2011)

Bullying statistic #4: According to a March 2012 study from the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, 63% of autistic children studied were bullied, which makes them 3 times more likely to be bullied than their nonautistic siblings. (Szabo, 5-2-2012) It was also found that bullies sometimes make it a game to intentionally try to trigger an autistic child into a meltdown or outburst.

Bullying statistic #5: According to a government sponsored survey of 6,500 students ages 12 to 18 released in October of 2011, Asian Americans are the most harassed ethnic group. 54% of Asian-American teens reported being bullied in the classroom, compared with 38% of blacks, 34% of Hispanics, and 31% of whites. For cyberbullying, the difference was even more pronounced: 62% of Asian Americans reported online harassment, compared to just 18% of whites. (Phan, 2012)

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