The dispersion of the municipalities of Central Finland into the administrative districts of Häme, Kuopio, St. Michel and Vaasa impeded the province's economic progress and the realisation of large provincial projects. The first world war and the events of 1917 caused economic turmoil and upset the province's social order. Plans to create a new administrative district were put off to the time of independence.

The industrial centres of Central Finland, i.e. the City and Rural Municipality of Jyväskylä as well as Jämsä, Keuruu and Äänekoski, provided the driving force for the province's economic growth. The industrialisation of Jyväskylä was reflected in the social structure of the town in terms of the growing share of the industrial workforce and other working people. Jyväskylä became a town of workers and civil servants. New machines in agriculture and advances in dairy farming added to the affluence of countryside dwellers.