The good news: More Hispanics than ever are graduating from college, with the Eastern region home to the highest count.

The bad news: The areas of the country with the highest Latino population still lag behind and need to catch up.

According to a new study released by the Pew Research Center on Thursday, Washington, D.C., had the nation's top Latino college attainment with 36 percent — followed by neighboring states Virginia, at 24 percent, and Maryland with 21 percent.

According to a previous Pew study, for the first time more Hispanic high school graduates in the class of 2012 enrolled in college that fall than whites, but the share of Latino adults nationally that have a bachelor's degree is still lower than other ethnic groups, at 13.4 percent.

In contrast, 32 percent of whites, 50 percent of Asians and 19 percent of blacks have college degrees.

The study showed that states with the largest Hispanic populations still have a long way to go to catch up in terms of higher education attainment.

In California, which has the highest Latino population in the nation, only one in ten Latino adults 25 or older have a bachelor's degree.

The numbers are only slightly better in Texas — home to the nation's second largest Latino population — where just 12 percent of Latino have that coveted college diploma. Illinois, the state with the fifth largest Latino population, the college-attainment rate stands same as Texas, at 12 percent.

Of the top Latino population states in the country, only Florida, with the nation's third largest Latino population and New York, with the nation's fourth largest, had college attainment rates above the Hispanic national average, each clocking in at 20 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

The five states with the lowest number of four year college-educated Latinos: Nebraska, Idaho, Mississippi and Arkansas, at 9 percent, followed by Nevada at 8 percent.

 

 

Bryan Llenas currently serves as a New York-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC) and a reporter for Fox News Latino (FNL). Click here for more information on Bryan Llenas. Follow him on Twitter @BryanLlenas.

Follow us on twitter.com/foxnewslatino
Like us at facebook.com/foxnewslatino