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. 


Almost 45,000 children talked to ChildLine about bullying last year.

Explanation: 30,387 young people who were counselled by ChildLine in 2012/13, cited bullying as their main concern. A further 14,379 mentioned bullying as an additional concern. Therefore bullying was mentioned in 44,766 counselling sessions. Children counselled by ChildLine about bullying as their main concern, made up 11% of all counselling sessions.

Bullying was the biggest reason for children aged 11 and under to contact ChildLine (24% of children aged 11 and under) and the second biggest reason for children aged 12-15 (12% of 12-15 year olds).

Bullying was the biggest reason for boys to contact ChildLine (14% of boys).


4,500 young people talked to ChildLine about online bullying last year.

Explanation: 4,500 young people contacted ChildLine for support and advice on how to deal with being bullied via social networking sites, chat rooms, online gaming sites, or via their mobile phones. This is an increase of 87% on 2011/12. 

Over 1,400 young people talked to ChildLine about racist bullying last year.

Explanation: Over 1,400 young people told ChildLine that they were experiencing racist bullying – a 69% increase on 2011/12. A common theme was for young people to be called a “terrorist” or a “bomber”, and to “go back to where they came from”. These constant insults left many young people feeling upset, insecure and frustrated.

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.

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