Standing up to bullies was once a brave act that defied social norms. Today, the landscape is not so clear-cut. Enter: cyberbullying. Adolescents are forced to endure online harassment from peers at any given hour of the day—often without even knowing the identity of the bully. The prevalence of digital devices has created a pressing health problem for the world’s youth that’s not limited to school grounds.
Cyberbullying can include harassing, threatening, demeaning or embarrassing someone else using an online platform. In the most extreme cases, statistics on bullying show that victims suffer a higher risk for cyberbullying-related suicide.
In this post, we shed light on 52 of the most alarming cyberbullying statistics that show how dangerous online harassment can be. They cover the root causes and effects of online bullying, where cyberbullying is most prevalent, current anti-bullying efforts, and most importantly, how to detect online bullying and what to do about it.
Table of Contents:
- Statistics on Bullying by Country
- Social Media and Cyberbullying
- School Bullying Statistics
- The Larger Effects of Cyberbullying
- Anti-Bullying Campaigns by the Numbers
- How To Recognize Online Harassment
- Additional Resources
- 38 percent of people experience cyberbullying on social media platforms daily.
- Foreign national students experience more cyberbullying than their locally-born counterparts.
- Cyberbullying is the number one concern for school staff.
- 25 percent of students who are cyberbullied turn to self-harm to cope.
Examples of cyberbullying can include harassing, threatening, demeaning, or embarrassing someone else using an online platform. In the most extreme cases, statistics on bullying show that adolescents who are victims suffer a higher risk for cyberbullying-related suicide.
Cyberbullying Statistics by Country
The number of cyberbullying cases varies around the world, but one thing is clear: it’s a problem everywhere.
- 34 percent of British adolescents have experienced bullying in mobile games. (Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking)
- 15 percent of students within the United States report being cyberbullied. (CDC)
- 75 percent of students in Romania report less frequent cyberbullying since COVID-19. (Statista)
- In Myanmar, victims of cyberbullying were teased for having trouble concentrating and understanding lectures. (PLOS ONE)
- Japanese adolescents ages 12 to 18 are more likely to experience future health and social problems if victimized by cyberbullying. (Journal of Adolescence)
- 25 percent of people ages 14 and older who experience cyberbullying in Russia say the motive is sexual orientation, internet activity, or physical appearance. (Statista)
- Foreign-born youths in wealthy countries experience more bullying than those who were born locally. (SDG 4)
- 17 percent of parents in the UK report their child being cyberbullied. (Statista)
- Adolescent males in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Mainland China are more likely than female adolescents to report cyberbullying perpetrators. (Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development)
Which Country Has the Highest Rate of Cyberbullying?
- According to parents, the highest instance of cyberbullying occurs in India, where 37 percent of parents report their child encountering online bullying. (Statista)
- European countries where children are the most at risk for online sexual exploitation and harmful material include Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Norway. (European Parliament)
Cyberbullying on Social Media Statistics
Because social media companies are private, online bullying is difficult to track and regulate. Still, cyberbullying statistics reveal information about how often children and adolescents are experiencing it and on which platforms it is most common.
- 31 percent of young adults report that their peers misunderstand their texts or social media posts. (Cyberbullying Research Center)
- Romanian students are more likely to experience cyberbullying if they use social networking sites for two or more hours per day. (BMC Public Health)
- Twitter users who frequently use vulgar words in their tweets are more likely to be cyberbully perpetrators than their counterparts who use fewer vulgar words. (International Journal on Adv. Science Engineering IT)
- 9 percent of young adults report people posting embarrassing pictures of them on social media sites without permission. (Pew Research)
- Children ages 9 to 10 are more likely to be bullied on gaming websites, while teens ages 13 to 16 are more likely to be affected by cyberbullying on social media. (European Parliament)
- 42 percent of adolescents have experienced cyberbullying on Instagram, and 37 percent of them have experienced bullying on Facebook. (Ditch The Label)
- 38 percent of people see instances of cyberbullying on social media daily. (Statista)
School Cyberbullying Statistics
In past decades, bullying was isolated to school hours. Today, the problem persists both on and off school grounds, even in the face of cell phone restrictions in class.
- 9 percent of students ages 12–17 admit they’ve pretended to be someone else online. (Cyberbullying Research Center)
- Public schools where three quarters or more of students are minorities reported the least cyberbullying. (National Center for Education Statistics)
- Cyberbullying is the number one online safety concern for teachers. (Be Internet Awesome)
- One in five students report having skipped school because of cyberbullying. (UNICEF)
- Bullying in schools happens most often during 6th grade, accounting for nearly 29 percent of incidents. (National Center for Education Statistics)
- Cyberbullying increases a student’s perceived popularity. (The Journal of Early Adolescence)
- Schools with policies that do not allow cell phone use during school hours have a higher rate of daily and weekly cyberbullying. (National Center for Education Statistics)
- Adolescent girls with unstable families are most likely to be both victims and perpetrators of cyberbullying. (Computers in Human Behavior)
How Many Cases of Cyberbullying Are There?
- 33 percent of youth across the globe experience bullying online. (SDG 4)
- 70 percent of students with a physical disability report being cyberbullied. (Ditch The Label)
- Children within lower socioeconomic classes experience the most cases of bullying. (SDG 4)
- Girls are 1.3 times more likely to be cyberbullied than boys. (CDC)
- 49 percent of LGBTQ+ students have experienced cyberbullying. (GLSEN)
- In 2019, nearly 18 percent of students report being a target of cyberbullying in the United States. (Cyberbullying Research Center)
The Larger Effects of Cyberbullying
Students who are victims of cyberbullying often experience anger, isolation, depression, illness, and humiliation.
- Students who are bullied are three times as likely to engage in school violence and delinquency. (Cyberbullying Research Center)
- Only 46 percent of students report bullying incidents to an adult. (National Center for Education Statistics)
- Non-heterosexual victims and perpetrators of cyberbullying exhibit more depression, social anxiety, and psychopathological symptoms than heterosexual victims and perpetrators. (Media Education Research Journal)
- Students who experience cyberbullying tend to have poor sleep quality and show symptoms of depression. (Sleep)
- Only 8 percent of public schools report that staff resources are used to handle cyberbullying incidents. (Indicators of School Crime and Safety)
- Young adults who experience cyberbullying are twice as likely to self-harm and execute suicidal behavior. (JMIR Publications)
- One in four students who experienced bullying turned to self-harm to cope. (Ditch The Label)
- 29 percent of teens do nothing when they’re cyberbullied. (National Crime Prevention Council)
What Is the Percent of Cyberbullying for Children?
- 13 percent of teens have experienced someone pretending to be them online. (National Center for Education Statistics)
- Less than 5 percent of students report cyberbullying as an isolated incident, and they typically experience traditional forms of bullying in addition to their online encounters. (Journal of Adolescent Health)
- 25 percent of students recount being cyberbullied by mean and hurtful comments. (Cyberbullying Research Center)
- 22 percent of middle school and high school students reported having rumors spread about them online. (Statista)
- 6 percent of children admit to cyberbullying their peers. (Cyberbullying Research Center)
Anti-Bullying Campaigns by the Numbers
Non-profit, federal, and statewide anti-bullying campaigns have popped up around the country in attempts to reduce its prevalence.
- Bullying programs are more effective when the participants volunteer rather than being nominated. (Prevention Science)
- 76 percent of public schools report providing training for teachers around physical, social, and verbal bullying behaviors. (National Center for Education Statistics)
- Anti-bullying programs reduce cyberbullying perpetration by 10–15 percent and cyberbullying victimization by 14 percent. (Aggression and Violent Behavior)
- Students’ attitudes towards bullying problems become more positive after implementing conversation bots where students defended the victim and bots supported bullying behaviors. (Journal of Educational Computing Research)
- 50 percent of anti-bullying programs have significant effects on reducing bullying behaviors. (Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation)
- Self-reported peer relationships improve with the presence of anti-bullying intervention programs. (JAMA Network)
- 31 percent of students report the best way to stop cyberbullying is by blocking the user. (Cyberbullying Research Center)
How To Recognize and Prevent Online Bullying
It’s important to be aware of the types of online bullying to combat becoming one of the cybersecurity statistics. If you suspect your child is engaged in one or more of the following behaviors, it’s time to take action.
- Flaming: Online arguments that take place within DMs and messaging apps, oftentimes with vulgar behavior to provoke another person.
- Harassment: Sending offensive messages repeatedly including verbal abuse and unsolicited sexual content.
- Denigration: Distributing derogatory or false information about someone to damage their reputation.
- Cyberstalking: Repeatedly sending threatening messages in attempts to intimidate someone. In some cases, this behavior is illegal.
- Masquerade: Creating a fake account pretending to be someone else, sometimes even stealing credentials and posting embarrassing or vicious content.
- Trolling: Baiting other users to fight online.
Notable warning signs of cyberbullying can include: withdrawing from social activities, avoiding school, dropping grades, or appearing anxious or sad after going online. In some cases, cyberbullying is illegal. In less severe cases, blocking the perpetrator and contacting a school administrator is the best course of action. Be proactive as a parent and keep parental controls on and set a media agreement with your children.
These cyberbullying prevention resources have additional information for suicide prevention, healthy technology habits, and articles with practical parental advice.
- National Crime Prevention Council
- Technology and Youth: Protecting your Child from Electronic Aggression
- KnowBullying Mobile App
Online bullying is a problem that will persist as technological advances continue. Be aware of your children’s internet use and download proper parental controls to avoid becoming one of the cyberbullying statistics.
How many kids get cyberbullied each year?
In 2020, the Cyberbullying Research Center found that 45.5% of students between the ages of 13 and 17 have experienced cyberbullying in their lifetime.
Which country has the highest rate of cyberbullying?
A 2018 survey found that cyberbullying is most common in India, where 37 percent of parents reported their child encountering online bullying.
What age group has the highest rate of cyberbullying?
A study found that Children ages 9 to 10 are more likely to be bullied on gaming websites, while teens ages 13 to 16 are more likely to be affected by cyberbullying on social media.
Which social media platform has the highest rate of cyberbullying?
A recent survey found that 42% of participating youths experienced cyberbullying on Instagram, which was more than on any other social platform.
For more information on cyberbullying and signs to look out for, check out the infographic below.