Fifty percent of Black children born in America are poor, according to a new study released by the Children’s Defense Fund.

In all, the country has 14.7 million poor children living at or below the poverty line, and 6.5 million who are considered extremely poor for living at below half of the poverty line.

“By expanding investments in existing policies and programs that work, we can shrink overall child poverty 60 percent, Black child poverty 72 percent, and improve economic circumstances for 97 percent of poor children at a cost of $77.2 billion a year,” the report, entitled “Ending Child Poverty Now,” found.

Among the expanded investments the study recommends are increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, expanding the earned income tax credit, as well as increasing food stamp benefits.

“The United Kingdom, whose economy, if it were an American state, would rank just above Mississippi according to The Washington Post, committed to and succeeded in cutting its child poverty rate by half in 10 years. It is about values and political will,” the report’s authors wrote.

Anticipating that the $77.2 billion annual cost may be a political stumbling block, the study argued that child poverty costs the nation $500 billion annually in lost productivity, increased crime, and poor health. However, the report cites only a single 2007 study produced by progressive D.C. think tank Center for American Progress for this figure.

The report found that America ranks 34th in child poverty among countries which are part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, ahead of only Romania, which maintains an economy 99 percent smaller than that of the U.S.