The 18th century was a time of economic rise, changes in church administration and reorganisation of the state machinery. After the provincial reform of 1775 the northern and western parts of Central Finland fell under the province of Vaasa, the eastern parts under the province of Savo-Karelia, the south-eastern parts under the province of Kymenkartano and the southern parts under the province of Häme. By the end of Swedish rule, new subordinate parishes and so-called prayer-room communities were founded, providing a basis for the division into municipalities of the 19th century.

There were about 38 000 inhabitants, 1900 houses, more than 400 farmsteads, 1100 tenant-farms and a number of landless people living in Central Finland at the end of the century. The sources of livelihood included farming and tending cattle. Fishing played an important role in the northern part of the province. It became easier to reach the coastal towns of Ostrobothnia once the Kuopio-Laukaa-Vaasa road was completed at the end of the 18th century. Koivisto in Äänekoski was the point at which the main roads of Central Finland crossed, a geographical junction and an administrative centre from the end of the 18th century until the 1840s. In 1786 Central Finland's first post office was set up in Laukaa.