Northern Ireland Catholics feel alienated from the United Kingdom but do not feel a united Ireland is a realistic prospect, a new academic survey has revealed.
The number of people believing Irish unity is very unlikely has now risen to 41%, with fewer Catholics than Protestants expecting it.
The study also highlighted a significant drop in the number of people wishing to remain in the UK - down from 72% to 63% since 2010 - the lowest since devolution in 2007 especially among Catholics.
Duncan Morrow, of the University of Ulster, said: "These results confirm that the hybrid nature of Northern Ireland as a shared space sharply and persistently divided over questions of national identity is unchanged.
"However, this does not translate into a similar division over constitutional status, where there is little evidence of any strong desire for Irish unity at present."
It found a marked rise in the percentage of people describing their national identity as Irish - up from 26% in 2010 to 32% in 2012. But the proportion of people who said they were Northern Irish had fallen from a historic high of 29% three years ago to 22% in 2012.
This included a significant drop in the number of Catholics calling themselves Northern Irish, which was down from 26% to 17% - the lowest in more than a decade. There has been a jump in the percentage of Protestants calling themselves British from 60% to 68%.
The annual survey records public attitudes to a wide range of social issues and is aimed at providing insights into the changing nature of Northern Ireland politics and society.