NEW YORK (November 20, 2017) – Children in the United States are concerned about bullying, violence and terrorism affecting their peers across the world, reveals a new survey released by UNICEF on World Children’s Day. Nearly half – 48 percent – of 9 to 18 year olds surveyed across the country admitted to worrying a lot about other children being affected by bullying, making it the top concern, followed by 38 percent of children reporting worrying a lot about terrorism, at 37 percent worrying a lot about violence.

The findings also reveal that children are deeply concerned about global issues affecting them personally. Nearly two-thirds of children in the United States report worrying a lot about being affected by natural disasters. Around 6 in 10 children worry a lot about being affected by bullying, and more than half are deeply concerned about being affected by conflict and war.

Nearly 60 percent of children in the United States express mistrust for adults and world leaders responsible for making decisions for children, and a similar proportion feel their opinions are not heard or they won’t help make change across the country.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • The majority of children in Malaysia identified poor education as the biggest issue they wanted world leaders to take action on is terrorism.
  • Barack Obama is the number one choice for American children to invite to their birthday, followed by Taylor Swift and Donald Trump.

The survey was carried out in 14 countries across the world among more than 11,000 children between 9 and 18 years old. The findings across all 14 countries reveal children feel very concerned about global issues affecting their peers and them personally, including violence, terrorism, conflict/wars, unfair treatment of refugees and migrants, and poverty.

Some of the key findings across 14 countries where the survey was carried out include:

  • Across all 14 countries, Brazilian, Malaysian and Mexican children are the most concerned about violence affecting them with 75 percent, 70 percent and 69 percent respectively admitting to worrying a lot about this issue.
  • Children across all 14 countries are equally concerned about terrorism and poor education with 65 percent of all children surveyed worrying a lot about these issues. Children in Turkey and Egypt are the most likely to worry about terrorism affecting them personally, at 81 percent and 75 percent respectively. By contrast, children in the Netherlands are the least likely to be concerned that terrorism would affect them directly, at just 30 percent.
  • Around 4 in 10 children across all 14 countries worry a lot about the unfair treatment of refugee and migrant children across the world. Children in Mexico, Brazil and Turkey are the most likely to worry about unfair treatment of refugee and migrant children across the world, with nearly 3 in 5 Mexican children expressing a lot of fear, followed by more than half of children in Brazil and Turkey. Around 55 percent of children in Mexico and 53 percent of children in Malaysia are worried this issue will personally affect them.

This World Children’s Day, UNICEF aims to empower children to ‘take over’ and come together to speak out on the issues that are most important to them. This is a day for children, by children. UNICEF hopes World Children’s Day will inspire governments, businesses and communities across the world to listen to children and incorporate their opinions in decision-making processes that affect them.

For more information about World Children’s Day, please go to

Notes to Editors
UNICEF worked with global research leader Kantar and its data insights agency Lightspeed to poll more than 11,000 children aged between 9 and 18 years old in 14 countries about their concerns and attitudes on global issues including bullying, conflict/war, poverty, terrorism and violence against children. The countries surveyed were: Brazil, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

About Lightspeed
Lightspeed is a data company for the insights market. Quality-seeking researchers, marketers and brands choose Lightspeed as their trusted global partner for digital data collection. Our innovative technology, proven sampling methodologies and operational excellence facilitate a deep understanding of consumer opinions and behavior. With 700 employees working in 14 countries, we maximize digital research capabilities. We empower clients by revealing information that is beneficial, providing clarity and research data that illuminates. Lightspeed is part of Kantar, one of the world’s leading data, insight and consultancy companies. For more information, visit

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit

For more information, contact:
Sophie Aziakou, UNICEF USA, 917.720.1397,