France

Amid fears about a baby bust and an aging population, some European countries launched generous parental leave programs, specifically to encourage women to have more children.

France seems to have struck the right balance. The country has the highest birth rate in Europe, but not at the expense of women's careers.

French women average about 2.1 children -- just enough to replace the current population. Meanwhile, about 74% of mothers are employed.

Mothers can take maternity leave at their full salary for 16 weeks and fathers are entitled to paternity leave for 11 consecutive days. The French system also includes financial benefits, in the form of a monthly allowance for families.


Source: We used data from the Central Intelligence Agency and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation to compare female employment rates, length of work weeks and fertility rates, and then looked at parental leave policies by country.
- Last updated August 13 2013 10:43 AM ET
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