Ethnic minorities should be encouraged to integrate into society rather than living in neighbourhoods with people from their own countries because it makes them 'feel more British', a study has shown.
Researchers from Essex University and the University of Oxford have found that minorities living in mixed areas were five per cent likely to identify with being British than those who didn't.
People who lived separately from their own ethnicity were also just as likely to take part in community activities, help out their neighbours and trust those they lived with as those who segregated themselves.
The study of 4,391 people, 3,582 of which came from ethnic minorities found that, for white Britons, being poor was a bigger factor in breaking down trust between neighbours than race.
'Diversity is really good for minority members in Britain,' the report's co-author, Neli Demireva, said. 'If they live in diverse scenarios they identify more with Britain. Contact is good because they don't create reactive identities.'
The paper, published in Sociology, reverses years of study on the topic, with previous studies suggesting that ethnic mixing made people less trusting and lowered levels of community spirit.
In conclusion, the report said: 'If anything, diversity should be encouraged to cement the integration progress of migrants.'
The conclusion echoes statements by former Tory Party Chairman Lord Tebbit, who has criticised those who 'recreate their own country in Britain'.
Speaking to Sky News in 2013, he said: 'The problem that is caused in our cities is caused by immigrants from the third world who have got no intention of integrating here.
'They are people who left their country, came here and are trying to recreate their country in our country.
'We are building not so much a multi-racial society or a multi-cultural society, we are building separate societies which really don't have much to do with each other.'
David Cameron has also previously said that young immigrants should be taught to speak English and warned that some minorities are now more segregated from the rest of the country than their parents.