Previous studies have focused on the determinants of basic public health services utilization, such as socioeconomic status and mobility characteristics, rather than on health literacy. Thus, this study aimed to estimate the effect of health literacy on the utilization of basic public health services among Chinese migrants. Based on the 2016 China Migrants Dynamic Survey data (N =2335), this study used propensity score matching approach to estimate the effect of health literacy on the utilization of basic public health services, including the establishment of health records and receipt of health education, and to explore heterogeneity in this effect based on educational attainment and urban–rural status. The findings show that high levels of health literacy increased the probability of establishing health records and receiving more health education. Also, high levels of health literacy had a positive effect on the utilization of basic public health services among Chinese migrants, especially those with less education or living in urban areas. Policy makers should more carefully consider the actual situation and needs of migrants who are living in urban areas or have less education, constructing more targeted service programs.

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