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UK population will be '40% ethnic minorities by 2050'

Britain is set to be the Western world's most ethnically diverse nation after 2050. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Britain will become one of the world's most ethnically diverse countries in less than 40 years, an academic study has found.

The proportion of minority groups living in Britain will rise from 10% in 2006 to 40% by 2050, the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said.

The Observatory's Professor David Coleman said if current trends continue, the so-called majority-ethnic group in the UK - white British - will become a minority before 2070.

Prof Coleman said this assumption does not factor in the impact of current or future government attempts to reduce net migration.

"Migration has become the primary driver of demographic change in most high-income countries and may remain so.

"On current trends European populations will become more ethnically diverse, with the possibility that today's majority ethnic groups will no longer comprise a numerical majority in some countries."