Based on data from a random sample of foreign-born Chinese elders (n = 708) interviewed in Vancouver and Victoria in 1995–96, this paper examines the extent, determinants, and consequences of ethnic identification. Of the respondents, who have a median age of 75 and a median age at immigration to Canada of 55, 49.3 per cent stated that they felt more Canadian than Chinese, 36.6 per cent felt more Chinese, and 14.1 per cent felt equally Chinese and Canadian. Logistic regression analysis is performed, in an attempt to discover the determinants of Chinese ethnic identity. Significant independent variables include: place of residence, age, years since immigration, English-speaking ability, and personal monthly income. Consequences of retention of Chinese ethnic identity are explored, in terms of religious affiliation, health-related behaviours, family variables, and well-being variables. Only well-being is affected by retention of Chinese identity, an effect that is negative and felt largely by women only.