From March 2015
Aluria is only inhabited by about 1.1 billion individuals. This is mostly due to a sudden plunge in the population and low birth rates, both of which can be blamed on a particularly stubborn and contagious alien virus that was introduced into the population several hundred years ago.
There is a very real fear of being unable to sustain their population. Many cultures have also had to adapt to having smaller communities and fewer relatives. Now, it is not unusual for entire families to concentrate into one large household or section of a neighborhood and pool their resources. The raising of children is a task that can be shared among many, the company of family is always close by, and those experiencing hardships can be supported by an extensive network of kin.
Family history has become an important facet of Alurian life, especially given that their species' relatively low population might make the accidental mating of distant relatives a possibility. Many governments are attempting to combat this concern by gathering genealogical data on its citizens.
Mating culture has also shifted in the last few centuries. As the Alurian population has historically been male-heavy, females are highly valued, and males endure difficult competition when seeking a mate. Many parents of females will begin vetting potential mates as their daughter is reaching adulthood, aiming to secure for the future a successful male that is 10-to-30 years her elder. As the median Alurian lifespan is around 300 years (With no known upper limit, barring sickness or accidental/violent death), and newly-linked partners tend to warm up to each other quickly despite their differences, the age difference between mates is considered insignificant. Additionally, linking with an older partner means that the younger mate stands to immediately gain in standing, assets, and maturity.
However, the further an unlinked female gets into her adulthood, the less likely she is to find a mate; Some hold no respect for them, believing that they must be undesirable in some way if they haven't found a mate.
Male same-sex couples are accepted in most societies, as there are not quite enough females for everyone anyway. Female couples, however, may be treated with scorn; Many think that they are not fulfilling their reproductive duty when their species needs it most.
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