Blog: Latino Ed Beat

National Journal Identifies Cities With Most Educated Latinos

Miami ranks No. 1 for cities with the most educated Latinos. According to National Equity Atlas data, 26 percent of the Latino population of working adults in Miami has a bachelor's degree. Source: Flickr/ Alan PARKER (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Four East Coast cities and one in California made the list of the top five metropolitan areas with the most educated Latino population in a recent National Journal analysis.

Miami was No. 1 on the list, which was compiled using data from the National Equity Atlas, a partnership between PolicyLink and the University of Southern California Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE). Twenty-six percent of the city’s Latino population of working adults ages 25-64 has earned a bachelor’s degree. 

The following information is taken from the National Journal article. (For the purpose of these comparisons, researchers looked at the top 150 metropolitan areas that are also home to at least 200,000 Latinos.) 

1. Miami

  • Total population: 5,564,635
  • Percent of population that is Latino: 42
  • Percent of Latino population with a bachelor’s degree: 26 
  • Percent of white population with a bachelor’s degree: 42

2. Washington, D.C. metropolitan area

  • Total population: 5,582,170
  • Percent of population that is Latino: 14 
  • Percent of Latino population with a bachelor’s degree: 23

3. Orlando, Florida 

  • Total population: 2,134,411
  • Percent of population that is Latino: 25
  • Percent of Latino population with a bachelor’s degree: 20

The greater Boston area with a population of 4.5 million also had a 20 percent Latino college degree attainment rate, and San Francisco rounded out the list at 18 percent. 

Orlando and Miami were also listed among the top five cities with the “best Latino achievement in high school degrees” at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Also on this list are Albuquerque, N.M. in third, followed by Tampa, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona.

Five cities in California’s Central Valley were ranked the lowest in college degree attainment among Latinos: Bakersfield, Visalia, Salinas, Stockton and Modesto. In the latter three — ranked the best of the bunch — just 7 percent of Latinos earned a college diploma.

“Attainment levels for Latinos tend to skew low overall, because they include education levels of both immigrants who might not have degrees and those who were born and educated in the United States,” Janie Boschma writes for the National Journal. 

Interestingly, California had the most colleges of any state awarding bachelor’s degrees to Latino students listed in a recent Excelencia in Education ranking of the Top 25 Institutions Graduating Latinos. Texas, though absent from the above lists, was second.