PURPOSE: This study aimed to examine differences in depressive symptoms between urban and rural workers in mainland China and to identify community factors that could contribute to such residential differences. METHODS: This study used nationally representative data from the 2014 China's Labor Force Dynamic Survey. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews on a sample of 22,073 participants from 29 provinces of China, including 15,098 rural workers (Mage = 44.92, standard deviation ( SD) = 14.85) and 6,975 urban workers (Mage = 43.28, SD = 13.62). Mediators included community cohesion, foreseeable community threat, supportive network size and medical benefit coverage. Mediation analyses were conducted using Hayes' SPSS Macro Process for multiple mediators. RESULTS: Urban participants reported fewer depressive symptoms than their rural counterparts. Lower levels of community cohesion, higher community foreseeable threat and poorer medical coverage were related to fewer depressive symptoms. Rural-urban differences were mediated by community cohesion ( B = -0.12, p < .01), foreseeable community threat ( B = -0.08, p < .01) and medical benefit coverage ( B = 0.25, p < .01). CONCLUSION: This study sheds light on distinctive roles of community factors in explaining rural-urban differences in depressive symptoms. Policies or programs should be designed to promote strengths and address weaknesses in rural communities.