The biggest employers in Beilen are the former DOMO milkpowder factory and the psychiatric hospital GGZ Drenthe and there is a big distribution centre of Jumbo supermarkten. Beilen is also visited by many tourists, for it is located between many forests and National Reservates. Each August the so-called "Wende-aovends" take place in Beilen, with extra activities for children in the shoppingcentre and featuring local artists at night.
In 2001, the town of Beilen had 8689 inhabitants. The built-up area of the town was 3.2 km², and contained 3536 residences. The statistical area "Beilen", which also can include the surrounding countryside, has a population of around 10060.