Who Gets Bullied?

There are a lot of statistics out there, but they vary quite a bit.  The statistics are, however, useful in terms of understanding the scope and scale of bullying.

Characteristics of Those Targeted

There is no one characteristic or aspect that indicates who gets bullied.  However, the main reasons people are bullied revolve around being different – because of appearance, social status, disability, race or religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

  • According to a study conducted in 2010 by Nixon and Davis, the reasons for being bullied most often reported by students are looks (55%), body shape (37%), and race (16%).
  • Students with disabilities are bullied two to three times more than their peers (Marshall, Kendall, Banks & Gover (Eds.), 2009).
  • 82% of students who identify as LGBTQ were bullied in the last year based on their sexual orientation (National School Climate Survey, 2011).
  • 5.4 million students skip school in a year due to bullying

In General

There are two sources of federally collected data on youth bullying:

  • The 2015 School Crime Supplement – PDF (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics) indicates that, nationwide, about 21% of students ages 12-18 experienced bullying.
  • The 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) indicates that, nationwide, 19% of students in grades 9–12 report being bullied on school property in the 12 months preceding the survey.