Ethnic diversity leads to greater social cohesion and tolerance between communities, a new study has found.
The research, by the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) at the University of Manchester, aims to dispute the increasingly entrenched idea that immigration and ethnic diversity is creating disharmony among communities in Britain.
The study also found that living in an ethnically diverse neighbourhood is more likely make you healthier and less likely to experience racial discrimination.
The findings are based on census and survey data and will be presented to policy makers and community organizations at a conference in Manchester on Friday.
Professor James Nazroo, director of the university's Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity, said: "Our research is all about setting the record straight on those diverse neighbourhoods which are so widely stigmatised.
"So often we read in our newspapers and hear from our politicians that immigration and ethnic diversity adversely affect a neighbourhood, but careful research shows this to be wrong.
"In fact, the level of deprivation, not diversity, is the key factor that determines these quality of life factors for people in neighbourhoods.
"So our research demonstrates the disadvantages of living in deprived areas but the positives of living in ethnically diverse areas.
"It's deprivation which affects those Caribbean, Black African, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi people who are disproportionately represented in these neighbourhoods, as well as those white people who live alongside them."
The study further reveals that whilst there has been an increase in the number of localities with specific minority groups, there was a greater growth of minority population clusters outside those localities with ethnic diversity spreading throughout the United Kingdom.
Researcher Dr Nissa Finney told the Huffington Post: "Despite the clustering of ethnic minority people in some areas, the vast majority of ethnic minority people have a strong sense of belonging to Britain, feel part of Britain and feel that Britishness is compatible with other cultural or religious identities."BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS