This study develops a technique to estimate and project annual rates of poverty for a large metropolitan area for various segments of its population. The annual estimates and projections are based upon the official rates compiled by the Bureau of the Census.

Using Los Angeles/Long Beach as the site of the experimental example, the evidence reveals a substantially increasing trend in the incidence of poverty for the overall metropolitan population. This increase is caused by the dramatic rise in poverty within the Hispanic and Children population groups. Trends in poverty are negative, however, for the Elderly, Blacks, Female Family Heads and Whites. Explanations are offered for the disparate trends in poverty among the various groups. These explanations may serve as an agenda for future research. The Appendix to the study provides the annual estimates and projections for each population segment for the years 1959 through 2000.