PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to survey the prevalence rate of cognitive impairments and to identify the factors influencing cognitive impairment in the elderly in rural communities of Jeju Province. METHODS: 590 elderly in 6 rural communities of Jeju Province were interviewed, using a questionnaire consisting of sociodemographic characteristics, health behavior, quality of life, and MMSE-K RESULTS: Prevalence of cognitive impairment was 33.1% (39.1% of females, 16.76% of males). Prevalence of dementia was 12.4% (16.3% of females, 2.87% of males). Factors related to cognitive impairment were age, sex, education, standard of living, employment status, and subjective health state. CONCLUSIONS: In community health care for the elderly, factors relating to cognitive impairment have to be considered. When planning community health care, priority should be given to the elderly; who need care but live alone; who lack social support; who have a low standard of living; who experience discomfort in the activities of daily living; who believe they are not in a good state of health; or whose life satisfaction is low.