The municipality can be characterized as a chain of small villages dividing a mostly agricultural landscape. Having an agricultural background for at least a thousand years, the community houses for the most part commuters to nearby towns like Hoogezand, Groningen and Delfzijl. The mansionFraeylemaborg (a small 'castle', the oldest parts of which are dated in the Middle Ages) is located in Slochteren.
Slochteren is in the center of the giantGroningen gas field, discovered in 1959, ensuring the position of the Netherlands as a major energy exporting country. The estimated gas reserves in 2009 was 2700 billion m³ (95,350 billion cubic foot).