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Birmingham landmarks go purple in celebration of Census 2021 

Old Joe clock tower, Aston Villa and the Library of Birmingham will join more than a hundred buildings and landmarks across England and Wales by lighting up purple to celebrate the upcoming census and its importance to communities this weekend.

The event is being organised by The Office for National Statistics (ONS) to raise awareness of census day on March 21, a survey that happens every ten years and gives a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales.

Old Joe at University of Birmingham in Edgbaston, the library and Aston Villa Football Club’s ground will join other iconic landmarks including the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, BT Tower in London and Blackpool Tower, who are signed up for the celebration.

They will all light up in the Census 2021 brand colour on the evening of Friday March 19 and over the weekend to Census Day on March 21.

In the wider West Midlands, Coventry City Centre and Dudley Town Hall will also light up purple.

The census helps inform the provision of public services throughout the UK, such as determining the appropriate number of school places and hospital beds that are needed to properly serve their communities.

Pete Benton, ONS Director of Census Operations, commented: “The census is such an important undertaking that helps inform the vital services we all rely on every single day within our communities.

“We wanted to shine a (purple!) light on the buildings and landmarks that matter most to their local areas, highlighting the importance of the census in helping shape the communities we live in.

“We’re thrilled with all the support we have received so far and would like to thank Old Joe for their participation. Now is the time for everyone to complete their census and be part of history”

Every household in England and Wales will now be receiving their census letters with unique access codes enabling them to fill in their census online. Census day is March 21, but you can fill yours in as soon as you receive your letter if you’re confident there will be no change in who usually lives in your household.

Paper forms are available for those who need it, plus a range of other support. Living Well UK is helping local people without internet access or digital skills to complete their Census questionnaire, over the phone and through in-person appointments. To find out more about how Living Well UK can support you with the Census or to book your appointment, visit

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