Students and researchers often need statistics. Business students and entrepreneurs seek statistics that describe trends in a particular industry, or the ups and downs of the economy as a whole. Social science students often need statistics which may describe the educational and health status of the population, or the population's voting behavior, or other characteristics of the society.
The U.S. Federal government is the main collector and aggregator of these statistics, and it is the Census Bureau that does much of this work, although other agencies also collect and publish statistics. However, knowing how to locate the statistics you want, or even having an idea of what exists, is pretty daunting both for students, and for this writer. Here are links to three blogs from the Census Bureau and one newsletter from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which give users an idea of the types of statistics that are available, and which simultaneously illustrate how the data casts a spotlight on our society.
U.S. Census Bureau: Random Samplings Blog (http://blogs.census.gov/).
"The official blog of the U.S. Census Bureau," aims to describe the Bureau's objectives and the results of the surveys. Recent entries include one on the geographic mapping tools available in the Census Bureau's LED (Local Employment Dynamics)/state partnership program.
U.S. Census Bureau: Director's Blog
The Director of the Census Bureau, Dr. Robert M. Groves, writes a blog specifically about the 2010 Census and its interpretation, as well as the science of statistics.
U.S. Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Division: Global Reach Blog
"The official blog of the U.S. Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Division (FTD)." The FTD is the official source of U.S. import and export trade statistics. Blog entries relate to one of three categories: Trade Data, Foreign Trade Regulations, and information for exporters on electronic filing of shipments (Export Filing (AES). Note: some trade data may only be available through subscription.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Publication: Spotlight on Statistics
This small collection articles, heavily illustrated with charts and graphs, dates back to 2007. Recent topics include "Women at Work" and "Employment Situation of Veterans."