Data vs. Statistics: The purpose of this guide is to assist you with locating statistics. There is a difference between asking for data on a topic versus statistics. Asking for data implies that you want access to a file you can manipulate with programs like SPSS or SAS whereas asking for statistics means that you want to find prepared numerical information in the form of pre-prepared tables, figures, percentages and the like.
Why would I want to use statistics in my research paper? Statistics provide quantifiable evidence of change, trends, as well the demographic composition (demographics include age, race, gender, etc.) of a population you would like to study/develop services for/market to. The resources below are all freely available online. These sources have been reviewed and are known to be reputable.
There are countless sources for statistical information. Just knowing where to look can be tricky. The following sources cover a variety of topics, so they are a good place to start.