While it is widely recognized that exposure to residential greenness is beneficial to older adults’ health and wellbeing, surprisingly few studies have examined whether the health-promoting effect of residential greenness varies between urban and rural populations in China, a rapidly urbanizing country. In addition, most previous studies on residential greenness-health associations in China have used data collected in a particular city instead of the entire country, resulting in insufficient statistical power and inadequate generalizability. This study assessed the relationship between the amount of surrounding greenness at the township-level and self-rated general health at the individual-level among older adults across the entire country of China, using the geo-referenced micro-data sample of the 2010 China population census and multilevel logistic models. Results indicated that Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was positively associated with self-rated health among all older people, and that the NDVI-health association was stronger in high-density urban areas relative to low-density urban areas and rural areas. Furthermore, the association was stronger for participants who were younger, higher-educated, and non-agricultural hukou holders. Our findings provide evidence in support of China’s recent endeavour to promote an eco-friendly and greener development strategy.