UK cities could be at risk of long-term social problems if growing ethnic isolation is not addressed, a study has suggested.
The research found that some British cities are now in the "major league" of segregation, ranking in the top 50 with US cities such as New York, Miami and Los Angeles.
Researcher Dr Mike Poulsen, a senior lecturer in geography at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, examined 16 major UK cities, including Wolverhampton, Coventry, Slough, Luton, Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds, and comparing data from the 1991 and 2001 census.
Leicester, Bradford and Oldham were classified as "ghettos" by the researchers, with London and Bradford home to the most isolated ethnic communities.
Some 13.6 per cent of the Indian community in Leicester live in "isolated enclaves" - 37th in the table of 276 US and UK cities - compared to 5.4 per cent of LA's African Americans and 13.3 per cent of blacks in New York.
The research predicts isolated ethnic enclaves will continue to increase in size over time, and Dr Poulsen said immigration was mainly behind the rise.
The paper, entitled The 'new geography' of ethnicity in Britain?, found multiculturalism varied dramatically across the UK, with Bengalis in London living in isolated and socially- excluded areas, whereas those in Birmingham live happily with other groups.