Demographical Changes in the High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was marked by the rapid growth of population. By some estimations the European population between 1000 and 1300 even doubled. According to J.C. Russel 22,6 million people lived in Western Europe about the year 1000 and 54,4 million before outbreak of the Black Death in 1348. M.K. Benett estimated that population in Europe numbered 42 million about the year 1000 and 72 million about the year 1300.
The causes for the dramatic growth of population during the High Middle Ages are not exactly known. Some historians believe that the progress of agricultural techniques and tools which enabled more efficient production is the main reason for the rapid growth of population in Europe between 1000 and 1300. However, this theory does not explain the growth of population in regions where the agricultural progress did not occur. Growth of population in the High Middle Ages was most likely influenced by several factors including the growth of the cities, increased trade with the East after the Crusades, colonization of new areas by deforestation and drying of marshes, and cessation of the Viking and Hungarian invasions.