Rising Uyghur ethnic consciousness in the post-1978 era is believed to cause tense Uyghur-Han relations and conflicts in Xinjiang. There are different accounts linking rising Uyghur consciousness with variables such as Han migration into Xinjiang, ethnic inequalities, Uyghur language, and Islamic religiosity. Yet there is no concrete effort to summarize, elaborate, and verify these accounts. Nor is there a quantitative study of the levels of Uyghur ethnic consciousness in Xinjiang. Using data from a survey (N = 799) conducted in Ürümchi in 2007, this paper shows a high level of ethnic consciousness among Uyghurs. It also shows that Uyghur consciousness is based more on cultural and psychological properties than on instrumental sentiments. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013.