Percentage of students experiencing bullying in the last 12 months


Percentage of students who, during a school year, were physically attacked, participated in a physical fight, experiencing bullying, corporal punishment, harassment, sexual discrimination or abuse. Bullying, includes verbal and relational abuse.

Data source

Data for this indicator may come from two different school based surveys coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO): a) The Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with UNICEF, UNESCO, and UNAIDS. The GSHS is conducted primarily among students aged 13-17 years and has a global coverage; b) The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study is a WHO collaborative cross-national study of adolescents' health and well-being administered in schools every four years and using a questionnaire for 11-, 13- and 15-year-olds. In addition, data points could be reported using student background data from international student assessments.

Source definition

UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Calculation method

Number of students in a given level of education reporting that they have experienced any of the different types of violence or abuse in the past year expressed as a percentage of all students at the same level of education.

Data required

• Data on whether or not the child has been subjected to bullying in the past year. Bullying must include physical, verbal and social types; • ISCED mapping by country.


The indicator offers an estimate of the percent of students experiencing bullying. However, there are slight variations in the definition of bullying, and important differences in the target population and their characteristics, including age across the different sources of data. A high value indicates a large number of students at the given level of education are experiencing bullying in or near their school. An unsafe school environment is not favourable to promote school attendance and learning. It has an adverse impact on academic achievement.


Because of limitations in the comparability of estimates across the different survey programmes, the proposed approach for reporting a single monitoring indicator is to report an indicator in five-year bounds by, first, ranking the survey programmes based on how closely their estimates match SDG 4.a.2 and, second, using estimates for each country and sub-population from the highest ranked survey programme.


This indicator intends to measure experiences related to bullying such as being called by an offensive nickname, being threatened to be hurt, or other students posting offensive pictures or texts about them. Bullying has been linked to reduce academic and health outcomes for victims and for perpetrators.

Quality standards

The UIS compiles and aggregates data from different sources and defines a protocol for reporting. To address the differences in data collection, target populations, and timeframe for bullying, the UIS recommends for reporting purposes that indicator values for each country come from the survey programme in which they have participated that provides estimates that most closely match SDG 4.a.2.

Types of disaggregation

Disaggregated by an approximate age group (children, those in primary education, and adolescents, those in 8th grade and mid-secondary education), by sex, location (rural/urban), and socio-economic status.