Ethnic minorities living in the UK feel more British than their white counterparts, new research has revealed.

Muslims are the most likely of all groups to identify with the concept of "Britishness", the Institute for Social and Economic Research study found.

The report's authors say the results rubbish suggestions that ethnic groups are unwilling or unable to integrate into British society and show that fears over the negative impacts of immigration on cultural identity are considerably overstated.

The study, named Understanding Society, looked at the socio-economic circumstances of people living in 40,000 UK households.

Occupants were asked a series of questions, including how important on a scale of one to 10, being British was to them.

Pakistanis scored the highest with an average of 7.76 - despite common presumptions that they associate more strongly with their own national identity than to where they are living now.

Bangladeshi and Indian groups came second and third respectively, while the white population scored the lowest with an average of 6.58.

The study also found that identification with Britishness is higher among the children and grandchildren of migrants.

The research will be presented next week at the Economic and Social Research Council Research Methods Festival by Dr Alita Nandi.

She said: "Our research shows that people we might assume would feel very British, in fact do not - while others who we might assume would not associate themselves with feelings of Britishness, in fact do." for Social and Economic Research)