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Was there a growth in the proportion of the population living in England’s towns in the later middle ages? Uncertainty about national population trends and about the taxation multipliers needed to arrive at population totals has made it difficult to answer this question. A direct comparison of the proportion of taxpayers that was urban in 1377 and 1524 suggests that the urban share of population was static or may even have declined in this period. However, such decline provides no simple index of urban prosperity or decay: a decline in urbanization could be the product of rural buoyancy rather than of urban recession.