by Larry Magid

The National Center for Educational Statistics is out with its 2016 to 2017 report on bullying at school. Overall, the bullying rate hasn’t changed much from 2014 to 2015. In the latest report it’s 20.2% of students compared to 20.8% in the previous report. But when it comes to “online or by text” it rose from 11.5 in 2014 to 2016 to 15.3% in the 2016 to 2017 report. Scroll down for the two most recent set of statistics.

Cyberbullying among boys is only slightly up from 6.1% to 6.8% but among girls it’s up from 15.9% to 21.4%. That means that girls are more than 3 times more likely to be bullied then boys. There is a lot more data in the study (scroll down), including breakdowns by race, grade level, household income and more.

The overall numbers are actually lower than reported by Pew Research in 2018. More data is available from the Cyberbullying Research Center, which reports that “On average, about 28% of the students who have been a part of our most recent 11 studies have said they have been the victim of cyberbullying at some point in their lifetime. “


The study doesn’t explain why girls are so much higher than boys, but I have a theory. Girls are more verbal than boys and more likely to use words to hurt than fists. Previous studies have found that girls are more likely to cyberbully than boys while boys are more likely to be physical. When you look at overall bullying, girls are still significantly higher than boys (23.8% vs 16.7%) but most of that increase comes from the “online or by text) in the right-most column.  If you look at other venues, the numbers are closer.

school bullying statistics

2016 to to 2017 school bullying statistics. Note portions in red

school bullying statistics

2014 to to 2015 school bullying statistics. Note portions in red