Six in ten respondents to a major opinion poll in Britain are in agreement that faith was the more divisive characteristic, while only two out of ten disagreed.
Black, Muslim and non-Muslim Asian respondents were more likely than the country as a whole to agree that religion was more divisive, reports The Telegraph.
The study, which was carried out by Ipsos MORI for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, suggests that there has been a substantial shift in public opinion.
It found that Britain is "increasingly at ease with racial diversity", according to the Commission, with 84 per cent of people agreeing that "ethnic groups should be free to celebrate their customs and traditions while seeking to integrate into the British society".
More than half of people disagreed that "people who move to Britain from abroad should leave their old traditions behind", while less than a third agreed.
A total of 75 per cent of respondents said they would be "happy for [their] child to marry someone from another ethnic group". Fewer people (70 per cent) said they would be happy for their child to marry someone of a different faith.
Meanwhile, following the election of Barack Obama in the US, more than half of respondents said it was "certain or likely" that Britain would have a black, Asian or mixed race prime minister in the next 20 years.
The study was commissioned to mark the tenth anniversary of the Macpherson report into the police's mishandling of the inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993.