Nepalese women walk past a 99 pence discount shop on the edge of the town centre in AldershotReuters

People from ethnic minority backgrounds will make up nearly a third of the UK's population by 2050.

The five largest distinct black and minority ethnic (BME) communities could potentially double from 8 million people or 14% of the population to between 20-30% by the middle of the century, according to research from thinktank Policy Exchange.

Policy Exchange explained that the UK's white population has remained roughly the same while the minority population has almost doubled.

Black Africans and Bangladeshis are the fastest growing minority communities with ethnic minorities representing 25% of people aged under the age of five.

"The face of Britain has changed and will keep changing over the next 30 years," said Rishi Sunak, co-author of the A Portrait of Modern Britain handbook.

"From the post-war arrival of Jamaicans and Indians to the recent influx of Africans, the UK is now home to a melting pot of different cultures and traditions.

"These communities will continue to become an ever more significant part of Britain, especially in future elections."

The report comes after research by University College London (UCL) found that from 2001 to 2011, immigrants from EEA countries - which includes those in the European Union, as well as Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland - made a net fiscal contribution of £25bn (€29.7bn, $40bn) to the UK economy.

The Policy Exchange study also revealed that while the face of Britain has changed and is continuing to become even more multi-racial, people from ethnic minority backgrounds have a far stronger association with being British than the white population.

In the 2011 census, only 14% of whites identified themselves as being purely British, with more than six in ten (64% ) seeing themselves as purely English.

All other ethnic minority communities were more than four times more likely to associate themselves with being British.

For example, 71% of Bangladeshis and 63% of Pakistanis considered themselves purely British.

A quarter of the black Caribbean community see themselves as purely English, while just over half (55%) see themselves as just British.