LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Minorities make up 41.1% of professionals in the Las Vegas metro area according to a new analysis released today.

Las Vegas ranks just outside the Top 10 U.S. major metro areas — at No. 11 — for the largest percentage of minority professionals. Nationwide, 29.5% of professionals are minorities.

State rankings showed Nevada with the ninth-highest percentage of minority professionals — 34.8%.

Analysis shows the median earnings of Las Vegas minority professionals is $5,000 less than the median earnings for all professionals.

Professionals are defined as people in occupations that typically require a bachelor's degree or higher. The new analysis is based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census.

The analysis published by smartestdollar.com cites education levels as a major factor in the earnings gap between white workers and minorities.

"Many experts point to education as a critical tool for addressing these gaps," the analysis says.

"Educational attainment is a major predictor of earning potential as the U.S. labor force has become increasingly professionalized. Many of the occupations that pay the best are growing the fastest, and commonly require college degrees," according to the analysis.

Statistics for the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise metro area included in the report:

  • Percentage of professionals that are minorities: 41.1%
  • Percentage of total population that are minorities: 58.3%
  • Total professionals that are minorities: 106,581
  • Median annual wage for minority full-time professionals: $60,000
  • Median annual wage for all full-time professionals: $65,000
  • Median annual wage for all full-time workers: $41,000

The study ranked major metro areas, with the top spot going to San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara in California, where 62.3% of professionals are minorities. The Top 15, with percentage of minority professional in parentheses:

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA (62.3%)
  2. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL (59.1%)
  3. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA (54.6%)
  4. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (53.7%)
  5. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX (53.2%)
  6. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA (49.5%)
  7. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX (48.4%)
  8. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV (42.9%)
  9. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA (42.9%)
  10. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL (41.3%)
  11. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (41.1%)
  12. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA (40.3%)
  13. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (40.0%)
  14. Memphis, TN-MS-AR (39.8%)
  15. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (39.2%)

At the bottom for major metros, Pittsburgh tied with Grand Rapids, Michigan -- each with 12.2%.