The proportion of Mexicans living below the poverty line was 45.5 percent in 2012, while 9.8 percent of the population was destitute, the National Council to Evaluate Social Development Policy, or Coneval, says in its latest report.
Those figures represent 53.3 million people and 11.5 million people, respectively.
Coneval's calculation includes factors such as per capita income, access to education, healthcare and food, and the quality of housing.
The poorest of Mexico's 32 jurisdictions was the remote southern state of Chiapas, where nearly 75 percent of residents were living below the poverty line and more than 32 percent were destitute.
In Nuevo Leon, which borders Texas, 23.2 percent of the population had household incomes below the poverty threshold.
Coneval sets the poverty line at the level of income necessary to buy food and other everyday necessities.
People classified as destitute lack the money for a secure supply of food.
Around half of all Mexicans are thought to subsist on the equivalent of $4 a day or less.
The country is also home to one of the world's richest people, telecom tycoon Carlos Slim. EFE