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.

Originally published on smartestdollar.com, part of the TownNews Content Exchange.