Ponder these family facts.

Family units

American family units are anything but standard. There were 12 million single parents living with their children in 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Out of those, 10 million were single mothers, and 2 million were single fathers.

Best place to raise children

According to the 2010 roundup by Family Circle, the top three towns for families are Edmond, Okla., where the student/teacher ratio is 18 to 1; Hampton Township, Pa., where the median income is $76,000 and the median home price is $185,000; and La Verne, Calif., where 36 percent of households have children and the great schools rating is 9.

Best colleges

U.S. News & World Report released its 2011 college rankings. The top three national universities are Harvard, Princeton and Yale. The top national liberal arts colleges are Williams, Amherst and Swarthmore. 

Class of 2014

If you have a child entering college this fall, he’ll be in the class of 2014. Few of the students actually know how to write in cursive, and they prefer e-mail to anything else, according to the Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2014. For them, DNA fingerprinting and maps of the human genome have always exited – and Ruth Bader Ginsburg has always had a seat on the Supreme Court.

When kids dream

Girls and boys ages 10-15 have big dreams for their future careers, says a 2009 study by Raytheon. Twenty-three percent of girls want to be a singer or musician, 22 percent want to be an actress, 13 percent want to be a doctor and 10 percent want to be a teacher. Thirty-three percent of boys want to be a video game creator, 26 percent want to be a professional athlete, 13 percent want to be a computer programmer and 11 percent want to be a singer or musician.

Forget the Joneses

On average, families are very happy with their housing situations, according to a study released in August by the U.S. Census Bureau. About 70 percent of the people surveyed rated their housing situation an 8, 9 or 10, with 28 percent giving their homes a perfect 10. Sixty-eight percent of people rated their neighborhood highly, with 25 percent giving it the best rating.