* THE BIRTH RATE FOR WOMEN AGED 35-44 rose 6 percent to 8 percent between 1988 and 1989, bringing those rates to the highest levels in at least 15 years. The impact of these higher rates has been magnified by the sharp increase in the number of women in this group, the aging baby boom generation.
* Among women who had reached age 35 by 1989, 20 percent had not yet had any children, up from 9 percent in 1970. But they told census interviewers they hadn't given up. Half of all childless wives aged 30 to 35 said they still expected to have at least one child.
* Women who delay childbearing are disproportionately well-educated. Among women aged 30-34 who had their first child in 1989, nearly half (46 percent) were college graduates. By comparison, only 7 percent of the new mothers aged 20-24 had college degrees, and 33 percent of those 25-29.