Bullying Statistics [2023] – Strange Facts About Bullying and its Types

Bullying statistics

Between 20% and 40% of youth in the United States have experienced bullying. Bullying and harassment is increasing in schools and workplaces. We have discussed some of the common types of bullying, the effects on mental health, and long-term effects that affect an individual’s adulthood. It is necessary to consider some of the monumental changes we have in terms of numbers in the past decade.

Bullying can take various forms described below:
  1. Physical Bullying: Involves physical harm or the threat of harm. This may include hitting, kicking, pushing, or other forms of physical aggression.
  2. Verbal Bullying: Involves the use of words to hurt or humiliate the target. This can include name-calling, teasing, taunting, or making derogatory comments.
  3. Social Bullying (Relational Aggression): Involves manipulating relationships and social dynamics to harm the victim. This may include spreading rumors, social exclusion, or damaging someone’s reputation.
  4. Cyberbullying: This takes place in the digital realm and involves the use of technology to harass, threaten, or humiliate someone. This can include sending hurtful messages, spreading false information online, or engaging in other harmful online behaviors.

You may be wondering; What causes bullying? or Why do people bully others? Bullying often stems from a combination of factors, including a power imbalance, personal insecurities, a desire for control, learned behavior from the environment, a lack of empathy, peer pressure, and environmental influences. Individuals may engage in bullying to cope with their own issues, assert dominance, fit in with a peer group, or address personal frustrations.

In 2019, YRBS data indicated 15.7% of U.S. high school students reported being electronically bullied that past year, while 16.0% of Illinois high school students reported being electronically bullied.

According to these researchers, “Moreover, 19.5% of high school students in the United States and 19.9% of those in Illinois disclosed experiencing bullying within the school environment. Notably, high school females were more prone to both electronic and traditional forms of bullying compared to their male counterparts. Specifically, 20.4% of females reported electronic bullying, whereas only 10.9% of males did. Additionally, 23.6% of females reported being bullied on school property, surpassing the 15.4% reported by males.”

Bullying Statistics in the United States in 2023

Overall Bullying Rates

  • 20.2% of students report being bullied at school.
  • 49.8% of tweens (9-12 years old) said they experienced bullying at school.
  • 14.5% of tweens shared they experienced bullying online.
  • According to CDC, about 1 in 5 high school students reported being bullied on school property. More than 1 in 6 high school students reported being bullied electronically in the last year.

Cyberbullying Rates

  • 18% of students report being cyberbullied.
  • 49.8% of tweens (9-12 years old) have been cyberbullied, cyberbullied others, or seen cyberbullying.
  • 13% of tweens reported experiencing bullying at school and online, while only 1% reported being bullied solely online.
  • 19.2% of students said they had stayed home from school because of cyberbullying.

Physical Bullying Rates

  • 6% of students report being physically bullied.

Forms of Bullying

  • 13% of students were made fun of, called names, or insulted.
  • 13% of students were the subject of rumors.
  • 5% of students were pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on.
  • 5% of students were excluded from activities on purpose.
Further Statistics from CDC (2023)

Victimization Based on Sexual Identity:

  • 40% of high school students identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual experienced bullying, along with 33% of those uncertain about their sexual identity, compared to 22% of heterosexual students.

Gender Disparities:

  • 30% of female high school students experienced bullying, surpassing the 19% reported by males.

Ethnic Disparities:

  • 29% of White high school students faced bullying, compared to 19% of Hispanic and 18% of Black students.

School Discipline and Types:

  • Almost 14% of public schools report bullying as a daily or weekly discipline issue.
  • Bullying reports are highest in middle schools (28%), followed by high schools (16%), combined schools (12%), and primary schools (9%).


  • Reports of cyberbullying are most prevalent in middle schools (33%), followed by high schools (30%), combined schools (20%), and primary schools (5%).
Bullying statistics from the National Bully Prevention Center from the Pacer Center (2022)

Types of Bullying:

  • A higher percentage of males (6%) than females (4%) report being physically bullied, while more females (18%) than males (9%) report being subjects of rumors, and more females (7%) than males (4%) report being excluded from activities on purpose.

Persistence of Bullying:

  • 41% of students who reported being bullied believe that the bullying would happen again.

Forms of Bullying:

  • Of students who reported being bullied, 13% were made fun of, called names, or insulted; 13% were the subject of rumors; 5% were pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on; and 5% were excluded from activities on purpose.

Gender Disparities:

  • A slightly higher portion of females (24%) than males (17%) report being bullied at school.

Locations of Bullying:

  • Bullied students reported bullying occurring in various places: hallway or stairwell (43%), inside the classroom (42%), cafeteria (27%), outside on school grounds (22%), online or by text (15%), bathroom or locker room (12%), and on the school bus (8%).

Reporting to Adults:

  • 46% of bullied students report notifying an adult at school about the incident.

Reasons for Being Bullied:

  • Most common reasons reported by students include physical appearance, race/ethnicity, gender, disability, religion, and sexual orientation.

Historical Context:

  • The federal government started collecting data on school bullying in 2005 when the prevalence was around 28%.

Cyberbullying Among Tweens (9-12 Years Old):

  • One in five tweens (20.9%) has experienced cyberbullying, cyberbullied others, or seen cyberbullying.
  • 49.8% of tweens experienced bullying at school, and 14.5% experienced bullying online.
  • 13% of tweens reported experiencing bullying both at school and online, while only 1% reported being bullied solely online.

Effects of Bullying:

  • Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement, and dropping out of school.

Cyberbullying Statistics:

  • Among students ages 12–18 who reported being bullied at school, 15% were bullied online or by text.
  • Reports of cyberbullying are highest among middle school students, followed by high school students, and then primary school students.
  • The percentage of individuals experiencing cyberbullying has more than doubled (18% to 37%) from 2007-2019.

Specific Types of Cyberbullying:

  • Mean and hurtful comments (25%) and rumors spread online (22%) are the most commonly cited types.
  • Gender differences exist, with girls more likely to experience rumors and boys more likely to face online threats.

Impact on Tweens:

  • Tweens who were cyberbullied reported negative impacts on their feelings about themselves (69.1%), friendships (31.9%), physical health (13.1%), and schoolwork (6.5%).

Tweens’ Responses to Bullying:

  • Tweens used various strategies to stop bullying, including blocking the person (60.2%), telling a parent (50.8%), ignoring the person (42.8%), reporting to the website or app (29.8%), and taking a break from the device (29.6%).

Tweens’ Willingness to Intervene:

  • Two-thirds of tweens are willing to step in to defend, support, or assist those being bullied at school and online when they see it.

Barriers to Intervention by Tweens:

  • Barriers to helping when tweens witness bullying include fear of making things worse, not knowing what to do or say, not knowing how to report it online, fear of others making fun of them, fear of getting hurt, and not knowing who to tell.
Strategies proposed by CDC on dealing with bullying in school

Frequently Asked Questions about Bullying

  1. How does bullying affect mental health?
    • Bullying can significantly impact mental health, leading to issues such as depression, anxiety, and emotional distress. The persistent nature of bullying can contribute to long-term psychological effects.
  2. How does bullying manifest at work, and how can it be stopped?
    • Workplace bullying may involve verbal abuse, intimidation, or exclusion. To stop it, organizations can implement clear anti-bullying policies, promote a positive workplace culture, and encourage reporting mechanisms.
  3. How does bullying affect students?
    • Bullying adversely affects students by causing emotional distress, social isolation, and potential academic decline. It can lead to a range of mental health issues and negatively impact overall well-being.
  4. How does bullying affect adults?
    • Adults who experience bullying may suffer from psychological distress, anxiety, and a negative impact on their professional and personal lives. Bullying can affect self-esteem and overall mental health in adult individuals.
  5. How can bullying become a career tool?
    • While bullying should never be encouraged, some individuals may unfortunately misuse power dynamics to advance their careers. This can involve manipulation, intimidation, or undermining colleagues. Organizations need robust anti-bullying measures to prevent such misuse.
  6. How can bullying be prevented?
    • Bullying prevention involves creating awareness, fostering a culture of respect, implementing anti-bullying policies, providing education on empathy, and establishing clear reporting mechanisms.
  7. How does bullying affect child development?
    • Bullying can hinder healthy child development by impacting self-esteem, social skills, and emotional well-being. It may lead to long-term consequences in terms of relationships and overall personal growth.
  8. How does bullying affect students’ academic performance?
    • Bullying can detrimentally affect academic performance as students may experience increased stress, anxiety, and a lack of concentration. Persistent bullying can lead to a decline in grades and overall educational achievement.
  9. How does bullying affect the brain?
    • Bullying can have neurological impacts, contributing to stress responses and changes in brain function. Chronic exposure to bullying may affect cognitive abilities and emotional regulation.
  10. How does bullying affect the life of a child?
    • Bullying can have a profound impact on a child’s life, influencing their social relationships, self-esteem, and mental health. It may shape their worldview and affect future interactions.
  11. How does bullying work?
    • Bullying involves repeated negative actions, often driven by a power imbalance. It can manifest in various forms, including physical, verbal, social, or cyberbullying.
  12. How does bullying cause depression?
    • Bullying can contribute to the development of depression by creating a sense of hopelessness, isolation, and low self-worth. The emotional toll of bullying can lead to depressive symptoms.
  13. How can bullying be stopped?
    • Stopping bullying requires a multifaceted approach, including education, awareness campaigns, implementing and enforcing anti-bullying policies, fostering a culture of empathy, and providing support to both victims and perpetrators.

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Antony Lawrence. (2024, April 8). Bullying Statistics [2023] – Strange Facts About Bullying and its Types. EssayHelper.me. Retrieved from https://essayhelper.me/blog/bullying-statistics-2023-and-bullying-types/

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