A fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman is considered replacement level, and would keep the population at a steady level. No European country has attained that level. These are national averages:
[By comparison, in America [stats here], the overall fertility rate is 2.04, almost replacement level, which however, varies by region and race. The western and southern states generally have a higher fertility rate than the eastern and northern states. For example, compare UT (2.57), AZ (2.39), AK (2.37), TX (2.35), ID (2.32), CA (2.13), and CO (2.11) to MA (1.74), ME (1.75), RI (1.76), PA (1.86), NH (1.77), and VT (1.68). The fertility rate also differs by race, with Whites (1.86) at the lowest, compared to Blacks (2.03) and Hispanics (2.79).]
Ireland is a laggard in governmental support compared to European standards, yet still has the highest birthrate. Irish parents get 6 months maternity leave and 3 months paternal leave, however, without much availability of or subsidy for childcare.
France has some of the most extensive state-funded child care in Europe, as well as a pro-family tax structure. Mothers can take 16 weeks paid maternity leave for the first child, rising to 26 weeks for the third child. There is also a total of 26 months parental leave. Child care facilities are subsidized by the government, with younger children entitled to full-day childcare, and toddlers entitled to programs for which families pay on a sliding scale. Having children also lowers your taxes, as the more children you have, the smaller tax bracket you move into. Government also provides a monthly allowance of around $360 for families with three children, which rises when they reach 11 years old. France also provides a large family discount card, which brings us 30% reductions on transportation, and free activities and amenities, as well as about $300 a year towards extra-curricular arts and sports. There is also a tax deduction for home help, which makes it easier for mothers to work. France also encourages two-child families to move on to a third, providing payment of around $700 a month for mothers (or occasionally fathers) to take time off for up to three years for a third child.
In the UK, mothers get six months' paid leave and the option of six months further unpaid leave. The first six weeks are at 90% of pay and the next 20 at £102.80 (around $200) per week. New fathers are allowed two weeks' paid leave at a maximum £102.80 a week. The government offers free early education places. Children from the age of four get free part-time places at nurseries - some three year olds also get places. Parents of children under the age of six have the right to ask their employers for more flexible working hours.
In Germany, the government offers 14 weeks fully paid maternity leave plus parental leave of up to 36 months, with the level of pay depending on a number of factors. There is a severe shortage of child care places, with only 20% of toddlers getting a place. The government child care centers close at 1pm, and are incredibly expensive.
In Poland, women get paid over $400 for each new child they have, with women from poorer families receiving up to double that amount.
In Spain, fully funded maternity leave can last for 16 weeks, and unpaid leave of three years is available, but only about one-third of Spanish mothers take up maternity benefits.
In Italy, the government offers a one-time payment of $1,500 to couples who have a second child. Italy offers at least five months maternity leave on full pay with up to six more months on reduced pay. There are also tax breaks for children, and publically subsidized childcare, but most public nurseries do not have openings, and private nurseries are very expensive.
In Russia, maternity hospitals are free of charge and pregnant women get vitamins and iron supplements.
In Norway, mothers must take 6 weeks off, and are entitled to 12 months off work with 80% pay, or 10 months with full pay. Fathers are entitled to take almost all of that leave instead of the mother, and must take at least four weeks off. Norway also provides state-subsidized childcare.
In Sweden, each parent is entitled to 18 months leave, which is paid for by the government. Public day care is heavily subsidized and flexible work schedules are common - women with children of pre-school age are entitled to reduce their working hours.
Taken from data collected by the BBC, here.