The eight Skyrim races each have their own distinct set of skill values for each of the game’s eighteen usable skills that players start the game with when playing a character of that race, so there are various head starts available in terms of character skill development when picking any one of the races. The following table shows the starting skill statistics for each race:
NOTE: Starting skills for all players are a natural 15 without racial bonuses. A bonus of +5 takes a skill to 20 and a bonus of +10 takes a skill to 25. Any skills not mentioned will be a 15.
As one can gather from the table, Nords, Redguards and Orcs have a slight advantage in skills related to melee fighting; Argonians, Khajit and Wood Elves have a slight advantage in skills related to stealth and thievery; High Elves and Bretons have a slight advantage in skills related to magic; Dark Elves’ starting skills are sort of split between stealth and magic while Imperials’ starting skills are sort of split between magic and melee.
IMPORTANT: The advantages and disadvantages in starting skill bonuses do not matter in the long run. A player can overcome any low starting skill values just by using the skills they wish to become more proficient in; such minor deficiencies only really make a difference near the start of the game and can be easily overcome throughout the long journey ahead. So choose whatever race you want for your character, as none of them have any intrinsic shortfalls that will prevent you from becoming whatever type of adventurer you wish to be.