During the second half of the nineteenth century, the city constantly diminished its economic position, evolving slowly, registering even in certain periods a demographic, economic and political regression, a situation that can be explained through the fact that the economic and political power focused on Bucharest, while the foreign investments were kept also in Bucharest or the surrounding areas.
Even demographically, after 1859 and up to the end of the nineteenth century, the city of Iași was the only one in Romania that registered a slow increase in the number of inhabitants, or even a decrease in certain years of that period. Together with other cities in Moldavia, in the city of Iași lived a significant number of foreigners – especially Jews – exceeding 40% of the total population. Although a former capital, the city of Iași also had a large percentage of illiterates, thus contributing to Moldavia’s average, which was higher than the national average.
The city which at the beginning of the century had a patriarchal aspect changed its appearance, gaining accents and clues specific to a high degree of urbanization, influenced by socio-demographic factors. The demographic transformations of the 19th century stimulated technical progress and economic development, but also the spiritual evolution at the level of social mentality, as a basis for our national rebirth.