White workers earn significantly more than members of other racial and ethnic groups, and these gaps have grown over time—even as minorities’ incomes have increased. Many experts point to education as a critical tool for addressing these gaps, since educational attainment is a major predictor of earning potential. But higher education is often out of reach for historically disadvantaged populations in the United States, and can lead to underrepresentation in professional occupations. Researchers ranked metros and states by the percentage of professionals—defined as those in occupations that typically require a bachelor’s degree or higher—that are minorities.
Cities With the Most Minority Professionals
Mean annual earnings by educational attainment over the past 45 years
Most minority groups are underrepresented in professional occupations
Hawaii stands out with the highest percentage of professionals that are minorities
Small and midsize US metros with the most minority professionals
15. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
14. Memphis, TN-MS-AR
13. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
12. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA
11. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
10. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
9. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA
8. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
7. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
6. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA
5. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX
4. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
3. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
2. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL
1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
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