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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Smartest Dollar.

In the last few years, policymakers, experts, and the public at large have paid more attention than ever to disparities faced by America’s racial and ethnic minorities. And some of the starkest gaps minorities face are in the realm of economic opportunity.

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. These gaps in wages also help explain racial disparities in other socioeconomic conditions, like wealth and health outcomes.

In some parts of the country, however, racial and ethnic minorities do represent a larger portion of the professional workforce. States with a larger white population tend to have fewer such workers, while highly diverse states naturally tend to have the greatest share of minorities in professional occupations.

Many primarily white states in New England and the Midwest have the nation’s lowest percentages of minority professionals, led by Maine, where just 5.7% of professionals identify as minorities. Hawaii, where just 22.9% of the population identifies as non-Hispanic white, leads the U.S. in the share of minorities in professional occupations at 68.8%. And four other states with large minority populations — California, New Mexico, Texas, and Maryland — have shares above 40%.

Large U.S. Metros With the Most Minority Professionals

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