School Bullying Statistics

Spy Phone at       January 1, 2020

The School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey collected data on bullying51 by asking students ages 12–18 if they had been bullied at school52 during the school year. Students were also asked about the types and frequencies of bullying they had been subjected to, the specific characteristics related to the bullying, and whether bullying had a negative effect on various aspects of their life. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) also collected data on students in grades 9–12 who reported being bullied on school property53 or electronically bullied54 during the previous 12 months. This indicator first discusses bullying at school using the SCS data. It then uses the YRBS data to discuss electronic bullying by student characteristics and electronic bullying and bullying on school property by state. Readers should take note of the differing data sources and terminology.

Between 2005 and 2017, the percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being bullied at school during the school year decreased from 29 to 20 percent (figure 10.1 and table 10.1).55 However, there was no measurable difference between the percentages in 2015 and 2017. A declining trend between 2005 and 2017 in the percentage of students who reported being bullied at school was observed for most of the student and school characteristics examined: the percentage decreased for male students (from 27 to 17 percent) and female students (from 30 to 24 percent); White students (from 30 to 23 percent), Black students (from 29 to 23 percent), Hispanic students (from 22 to 16 percent), Asian students (from 21 to 7 percent), and students of Two or more races (from 35 to 23 percent); students in each grade from 6 through 12 (with decreases ranging from 6 to 11 percentage points); students in urban areas (from 26 to 18 percent) and suburban areas (from 29 to 20 percent); and public school students (from 29 to 21 percent). In addition, the percentage of private school students who reported being bullied at school was lower in 2017 than in 2005 (16 vs. 23 percent). Although the percentage of students in rural areas who reported being bullied at school in 2017 was not measurably different from the percentage in 2005, it was higher than the percentage in 2015 (27 vs. 18 percent).