Be'er Ya'akov has an area of 8,580 dunams (~8.6 km²). In December 2006, it had a population of 9,400. Be'er Ya'akov was founded in 1907 by Jewish immigrants from Dagestan. In 1947, it had a population of 400. It achieved local council status in 1949.
During the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and until the Israeli capture of Ramla in July 1948, Be'er Ya'akov was in the front line. The population at that time was evacuated and a new settlement, Be'er Shalom, was established nearby by members of Kibbutz Buchenwald, the first pioneer training group formed in post-World War II Germany.