The second most likely to prefer racially homogeneous neighbourhoods were white Americans.
Canadian allophones were the most likely to prefer racially diverse neighbourhoods.
Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies which commissioned the polling along with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, said the poll results call into question assumptions about what motivates someone to choose a given neighbourhood.
"It makes you think about that theory that minorities self-impose segregation on themselves and they are the ones who want to live in clusters or enclaves," explained Jedwab.
"This survey suggests the contrary. ... It actually suggests that it's not the allophones or ethnics who prefer living in clusters or enclaves. It is actually the francophones and, to a slightly greater extent than allophones, the anglophones."
The results have important policy implications for governments and Canada's ability to integrate new Canadians, Jedwab said.
"They need to focus more on the economic conditions of these groups which is probably what dictates their residential choice."
The poll, conducted last fall, found that 71 per cent of French respondents in Canada said most people in their neighbourhood shared their racial background, compared with 26.3 per cent who didn't. When asked whether they preferred to live in a neighbourhood where most people shared their ethnic background, 52.8 per cent of French respondents agreed, versus 43.4 per cent who disagreed and 3.8 per cent who didn't know or didn't answer.
A majority of white Americans, 60.4 per cent, said they lived in neighbourhoods dominated by white Americans, compared with 30.2 per cent who didn't. The poll found that nearly half of white American respondents, 49.5 per cent, also preferred to live in neighbourhoods where most people shared their background, compared with 37.6 per cent who didn't and 12.9 per cent who didn't know or didn't answer.
While 52.4 per cent of English Canadians lived in neighbourhoods where a majority of residents were English-Canadian, only 37 per cent said they preferred it that way.
The group whose surroundings matched their preferences the most was allophone Canadians. Only 22.1 per cent of allophones said they lived in neighbourhoods where most people shared their racial background and only 23.2 per cent preferred to be surrounded by neighbours of the same race.
The study is based on polling by separate firms in each country. In Canada, Leger Marketing polled 1,707 respondents online between Aug. 31 and Sept. 4. In the U.S, the online poll of 1,048 respondents was conducted by the Opinion Research Corp. between Aug. 30-31.