Pirmasens, in the local dialect of Bärmesens, is an independent city in Rhineland-Palatinate. It lies on the western edge of the Palatinate Forest and is the administrative seat of the district of Southwest Palatinate, from which it is also enclosed. Pirmasens flourished as the German shoe metropolis, but is now one of the structurally weak regions of Germany. One reason for the decline in population since 1970 was the withdrawal of the American armed forces. The unfavorable age structure, the lack of jobs and an unfavorable infrastructure connection also contributed to this. Since 2011, the population has initially stabilized at around 40.000.