Despite falling to a new low since 1990, when political turmoil drove economic growth down to 3.9 per cent, the 6.1 per cent rate met the target range of between 6.0 per cent and 6.5 per cent set by the central government at the beginning of a year ago, but was below the market expectation of 6.2 per cent.
While China's economy had been gradually losing steam over the first three quarters, growth stabilised at 6.0 per cent in the last three months of 2019 - the same pace as in the third quarter, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
This year is crucial for the ruling Communist Party to fulfill its goal of doubling gross domestic product (GDP) and incomes in the decade to 2020, and turning China into a "moderately prosperous" nation. The indicator, a measure of economic output that takes population into account, provides a better picture of a country's standard of living.
The overall global birth rate stood at 18.65 per thousand in 2017, according to World Bank data mentioned by the BBC.
Hitting $10,000 is a key psychological milestone for China.
A woman carries a baby born on China's National Day at a hospital on October 1, 2019 in Chengdu, Sichuan Province of China. "It is China's contribution to the world as an emerging economy", he said.
China posted a GDP growth of 6.6% in 2018, which was the lowest since 1990 at the time. The government has pledged not to unleash monetary stimulus, focusing instead on boosting fiscal spending, especially on infrastructure, to support growth.
And yet economists warn it is too early to say the worst is behind us.
December data released along with GDP showed a surprising acceleration in industrial output and a more modest pick up in investment growth, while retail sales were solid.
Data on Thursday showed China's new home prices grew at their weakest pace in 17 months in December, with broader curbs on the sector continuing to cool the market in a further blow to the sputtering economy. The number of people aged 60 and over increased by 4.4 million to 253.9 million. The number of newborns in 2019 fell to 14.65 million, a decrease of 580,000 from the year before.
Meanwhile, the population is aging due to greater longevity.
The NBS also released activity data for December on Friday.
The fixed-asset investment increased 5.4 percent year on year in 2019, flat with the level recorded in the first three quarters.