If you are looking for statistics on a particular topic, begin with the sources listed below. They allow you to browse and search for statistics by topic and will often point you to the appropriate agency and/or publication.
Another strategy is to look for statistical data on agency websites. Listed below are fifteen federal agencies that have major statistical programs. For information on funding and directives for federal statistical activities, consult Statistical Programs of the United States Government and United States Government Manual.
Microdata is information at the level of individual respondents. For instance, a national census might collect age, home address, educational level, employment status, and many other variables, recorded separately for every person who responds; this is microdata.