Over 40 per cent of those surveyed feel that cultural differences pose a threat to societal harmony, Kevin Dunn from the University of Western Sydney's school of social science said.
"The Cronulla riots and the recent attacks on people of Indian descent are an example of this. The figures show that 85 per cent of Australia acknowledge there is racial prejudice in the country," he said.
"So if you take that alongside the 87 per cent that are pro-multiculturalism, clearly you've got a third of the nation that tolerate cultural diversity but are concerned at the impact it will have on society," Dunn said.
The study also said that 6.5 per cent Australians are against multiculturalism.