When either writing or speaking, using appropriate statistics can help prove or disprove your point. Statistics can help provide concrete examples of a larger trend, give the basis for an important chart or graph, or make theoretical arguments tangible. This works best with statistics from reliable resources. Logically weaving statistics into your essays, papers, or speeches will strengthen your work.
For instance, the best resource for information related to population growth or racial makeup would be found under census.gov and can generally be narrowed down to specific states, counties, or cities. If you needed information about laws in a given state they may be found on state websites like scstatehouse.gov (for South Carolina).
There are two main branches of statistics: