Bullying and cyberbullying Facts and statistics

There are no official statistics on the number of children who are bullied. But from research studies and from what children tell us, we know that bullying is an issue that affects almost all children in some way. 


There were over 25,700 Childline counselling sessions with children about bullying last year.

Explanation: There were 25,740 Childline counselling sessions with young people who cited bullying/cyberbullying as their main concern in 2015/16. The 3 most common types of bullying mentioned in Childline counselling sessions were:

  • peer pressure (4,725 counselling sessions)
  • physical bullying (4,723)
  • online bullying (4,541).

See also Indicator 7 in How Safe are our children? 2016 and our Childline annual review 2015/16: It turned out someone did care.

Over half of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people have experienced homophobic bullying at school

Explanation: Survey of 1,614 lesbian, gay and bisexual young people aged 11 to 19 in England, Scotland and Wales.

More than 16,000 young people are absent from school due to bullying

Explanation: Based on a survey of children in England aged 11-15. Children were identified as “absent from school” either because they has frequently missed school – at least 28 missed half-days a year; or because their parents had elected to home-educate them. The figure of more than 16,000 is based on parents who gave bullying as the main reason for the child not being in school.

There were over 11,000 counselling sessions with young people who talked to Childline about online issues last year

Explanation: 11,253 counselling sessions with young people who contacted Childline for support and advice on online issues. This included online sexual abuse, online bullying and online safety.

To find out more see our Childline annual review 2015/16: It turned out someone did care.

Support our research

Research like this helps keep children safe from abuse – but we can’t do it without our generous supporters. 

Donate now

Help and advice for professionals

Library catalogue

We hold the UK's largest collection of child protection resources and the only UK database specialising in published material on child protection, child abuse and child neglect.

Search the library

Our research and resources on bullying and cyberbullying

Read our research reports, briefings and leaflets about bullying and cyberbullying.

See our research and resources

Information Service

Our free service for people who work with children can help you find the latest policy, practice, research and news on child protection and related subjects.

For more information, call us or email help@nspcc.org.uk.

0808 800 5000

Submit an enquiry

Safeguarding children

What organisations and groups that work with or come into contact with children should do to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.
Find out more