This cross-sectional comparative study compares differences in depression in the elderly with mild cognitive impairment and those with normal cognitive function in a community. Study subjects were drawn from elderly people visiting one particular public health center in Seoul, South Korea and included 81 people with mild cognitive impairment and 81 with normal cognitive function who were matched based on age, sex, education, and daily living activities. Study variables, including cognitive function, activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and depression, were measured with standardized instruments. Collected data were statistically analyzed with Student's paired t-test and χ2 test. The results showed no significant differences between these groups in terms of depression. Therefore, in community practice settings, nurses should understand that depression is not a manifestation of cognitive impairment and should develop effective nursing strategies to assess depression while considering other factors including age, sex, education, and daily living activities.