Iceland Mag

10 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Rate of bullying at Icelandic schools 3rd lowest in OECD, Icelandic teens world's 4th happiest

By Staff

  • Icelandic teens A group of teens taking a break from gerdening: Local municipalities hire thousands of teens every summer to take care of maintenance of public parks. Photo/Hanna

Icelandic teens suffer far less bullying than teens in all but one OECD country, the latest PISA survey shows. Icelandic teens also show greater life satisfaction than most OECD teens. Just 11.9% say they are the victims of regular bullying, and 46.7% say they are very satisfied with life. Only Mexican teens report higher life satisfaction (58.5%).

Relatively little bullying, more happiness
The survey revealed that 11.9% of Icelandic teens reported they were bullied at least five times a month. The OECD average is 18.7%. Only two OECD country reported lower levels of bullying, the Netherlands where 9.3% reported to have been bullied and Portugal where 11.8% had been bullied. Iceland ties with Korea for 3rd place. The rate of bullying in the UK was 23.9% and 18.9% in the US.

At the same time Icelandic teens report high levels of life satisfaction. When asked to rate their satisfaction with life on a scale of 0-10 Icelandic teens rated their life satisfaction on average at 7.8, above the 7.31 OECD average. Only Finland (7.89), the Netherlands (7.83) and Mexico (8.27) had higher average scores. The difference in life satisfaction between groups with lower and higher levels of socio-economic status, as well as among high- and low-achieving students in Iceland was also among the lowest in the OECD.

Strong bonds between parents, teens
Iceland also has one of the highest percentage of students who report they talk to their parents after school. The OECD average is 86.1%, while in Iceland 90.2% report they speak with their parents after school. the same percentage as in Japan. The teens of only two countries reported a higher percentage of contact with parents after school: Ireland (92.1%) and Portugal (92%). 88.7% and 88.2% of teens in the UK and US respectively say they talk to their parents after school.

Read more: Study: Ease of communication between Icelandic children and their parents among the greatest in the world

The percentage of students who agreed to the question "My parents are interested in my school activities"is 93.5%, the same as the OECD average, suggesting the strong contacts between teens and their parents are based on more than just the parents' interest in how well their kids do at school. These percentages are 91.7% in the US and 93.7% in the UK. 

Related content

Editor's Picks