That was down from the first quarter's 7.7 percent, said the National Bureau of Statistics, which reported the numbers on its website.
The bureau said China is facing "complicated and volatile economic environment at home and abroad."
It said the government's policies have focused on improving the quality and efficiency of economic growth and created conditions for economic restructuring through reforms.
"As a result, the overall national economy realized steady development and grew at a moderate pace," the bureau said.
China's GDP in the first half of this year grew 7.6 percent year-on-year to 24.8 trillion yuan ($4.04 trillion), the bureau said. The target for all of this year is 7.5 percent
The GDP grew at a 7.9 percent clip in the final quarter of last year. For all of last year, the growth was 7.8 percent, the slowest since 1999.
Earlier this month, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said his government remains focused on its program of reforms even as the national economy slows. He said so long as the economy stays within a reasonable range of growth, the government will be able to make a more focused effort on reform and generate new power for growth in the long term.
His assurances came as China's exports, crucial for growth, fell 3.1 percent year-on-year in June to $174.3 billion, adding to concerns about the growth slowdown. June exports were the lowest since October 2009. June imports also declined 0.7 percent to $147.2 billion.
The government's target for inflation this year is 3.5 percent. June inflation rose to 2.7 percent year-on-year in June from 2.1 percent in May, blamed largely on higher food prices.
Also, China's manufacturing activity in June as shown by the official Purchasing Managers' Index slowed to 50.1 from May's 50.8.
China's official media have quoted economists as saying the risk of a further cooling in the world's second-largest economy arises from weaker exports and stubborn industrial overcapacity.
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