Where Do Raccoons Live? (US States and Countries)

Raccoons are known to be incredibly adaptive creatures. While they have their preferred habitats, they are one of the few animals that have been able to adapt to urbanization. As long as they are able to find food and a place to stay warm and hidden, they don’t mind where their homestead ends up being established. 

Raccoons are also very resourceful, and due to their varied diets, they can make just about any environment suitable for them. They are able to eat a lot of different types of food that they can find in multiple climates and in different terrains. 

Where Can Raccoons Be Found? 

Raccoons can be found in a variety of habitats throughout North America. They can be found in forested areas, secluded areas in parks, and even throughout cities. They are also fans of farmland, due to the seclusion and ample food sources available. 

With the raccoon’s ability to adapt to different environments, they have been able to spread themselves out throughout North America and other areas of the world. Once only a couple of them have been able to get into the wild, they are able to spread out and repopulate, turning a small sighting into a potential infestation. 

Where Do Raccoons Originally Come From?

Raccoons are actually native to the tropical areas of South and Central America. They enjoyed the moderate climate, as well as ample opportunities to find food and shelter. They originally thrived in areas with a combination of trees and areas to burrow within and bodies of water such as marshes, rivers, or lakes. 

These areas allowed them to create homes within trees or burrows made by other animals that they could keep themselves secluded and warm during the day when they sleep, and in the winter, where they often hibernate to stay warm. 

They managed to disperse along other areas of North America, including colder climates where they found they could make homes in barns and other buildings. 

Are There Only Raccoons In America?

Raccoons have been spread out throughout countries outside of America, both through natural migration and through human intervention. Raccoons became very popular in countries outside of North America for their fur, while some also appreciated their ability to potentially eliminate other pests. 

Thus, many countries took raccoons from America into their countries in the hopes to be able to hunt them for their fur, and sometimes, for their meat. However, many of the raccoons could not be contained, leading to them becoming permanent fixtures in some of these countries. 

Which U.S. States Have Raccoons?

Most of the states in the U.S. have a population of raccoons, though some states have more than others. Similarly, there are some states that haven’t seen raccoons make them their home. Some of the states with more prominent populations of raccoons are listed below. 

Alaska

Raccoons didn’t migrate to Alaska themselves, but they were brought to the state in the 1930s in order to be hunted for fur. Even though raccoons aren’t fond of the cold, they’ve been able to adapt to the harsh weather in the state. 

Minnesota 

Raccoons are somewhat new to Minnesota, being that they were only spotted around the 19th century. There is also a raccoon hunting season that the state regulates. 

Pennsylvania 

Pennsylvania has a lot of different secluded areas for raccoons to call home. These areas also have plenty of water, which makes raccoons very happy. 

Rhode Island

Rhode Island is small, but it is the perfect place for raccoons to enjoy. Rhode Island is also home to many other small rodents and animals. 

Michigan

With the bounty of rivers, forests, and grasslands in Michigan, coupled with all the vegetation and small creatures for raccoons to eat, it’s no surprise that raccoons are big fans of Michigan. 

Oklahoma

Oklahoma has what is considered to be a subtropical climate. This is ideal for raccoons, who enjoy living throughout the state. Oklahoma is also home to a lot of bugs for raccoons to eat, as well as some of their favorite fish. 

Texas 

Even though Texas can get quite hot, raccoons still enjoy their time there, being scattered all throughout the state. Raccoons in Texas like to stay close to the water in order to stay hydrated enough to beat the heat. 

California 

Raccoons are pretty widespread throughout the state of California. California even has its own raccoon with the state’s namesake, and it’s quite large with a very dark mask. 

South Dakota

South Dakota has a lot of pine tree forests that allow for raccoons to set up shop (raccoons are great climbers), so they could be found plentifully throughout the state. 

Vermont

Vermont has raccoons living in some of the forests and farmlands throughout the state. Being that the state is overrun with forested spaces, it’s no wonder raccoons love the state. 

Virginia

Virginia is a pretty diverse state with different climates and landscapes. Some of these have raccoons that can be found making dens to live in. 

Tennessee 

Tennessee has ample space for raccoons to live and thrive in, such as parks and forests and tree-filled spaces. The raccoon is also known as the state animal. 

Minnesota

Minnesota has a lot of animals within its state, including raccoons. There are some very large forested areas in Minnesota, which are the perfect habitats for solitary raccoons. 

Wisconsin

The wetlands and the woodlands of Wisconsin are definitely enjoyed by raccoons among other species. Thankfully there are many places for them to stay hidden during the day, being that many of their predators live in Wisconsin as well. 

Arizona

There have been some sightings of raccoons in Arizona, although those sightings are sparse. Raccoons aren’t a big fan of how little water there is in the hot state. 

Wyoming

Wyoming has some sparsely populated areas, and raccoons will opt for staying there so they don’t have to run into too many people. 

New Hampshire

Raccoons can be found throughout New Hampshire, and have made homes in both urban and rural spots in the state. They are also sometimes trapped and hunted for their fur. 

North Dakota

Raccoons can be found in some of the forested regions and grasslands in North Dakota. Raccoons probably also enjoy that North Dakota isn’t overcrowded with too many people. 

Kentucky 

Kentucky has a unique disbursement of terrains, including mountainous areas, forests, and rivers. It’s the perfect state for raccoons to thrive, and thus it’s no surprise they live throughout the state. 

Nebraska 

Nebraska has some diverse areas within the state, including wetlands and forested areas. The raccoon enjoys being in Nebraska, as do a lot of its preferred food sources and small creatures for them to hunt. 

D.C.

Raccoons can be found in different areas throughout D.C. They enjoy the amount of forests and trees, as well the opportunity to set up camp near small bodies of water.  

Georgia

Raccoons enjoy the forested areas in the state of Georgia. While many consider raccoons to be dangerous, they are comparatively some of the tamest animals you’ll find in the state. 

Missouri

Missouri has some forests and water sources that raccoons enjoy, so they’ve set up home in quite a few different areas throughout the state. 

Hawaii

Hawaii is the ideal place for raccoons, so it’s no surprise that they’ve found a home in the sunny state as well. Once again, they can enjoy a diverse menu of foods they love from marine life to bugs and lots of fruits and vegetation. 

The raccoon is, however, considered an invasive species in the island state, and local authorities do their best to limit the spread of raccoons due to their potentially damaging effect on the local ecosystem.

North Carolina 

North Carolina has a lot of insects, fish, and amphibians, all of which raccoons like. There’s a lot of interesting wildlife to see throughout North Carolina, and that includes raccoons as well. 

South Carolina

South Carolina is home to the Hilton Head raccoon, who loves living off the coast of South Carolina. These raccoons are also scattered throughout other parts of the state, but enjoy the coast the most. 

This raccoon is gray with a yellow patch on its back and has a prominent mask on its face. 

Ohio 

Ohio has quite a few sources of water sprinkled throughout the state, making perfect areas for raccoons to live, find shelter, and feed. 

Indiana 

Indiana has some wetland areas that raccoons are quite fond of. They also have some gorgeous state parks that raccoons love, and there are plenty of food sources spread throughout Indiana for the raccoon to feast on. 

Maryland

Raccoons live throughout the state of Maryland, and it’s also legal to hunt raccoons in some areas of the state. That being said, the practice is regulated to ensure that the animals aren’t wiped out or hunted in a wasteful manner. 

There is also a particular species of raccoon that enjoys living in Maryland. This raccoon, known as the Chesapeake Bay raccoon, has darker fur. It also loves hanging out by Maryland marshes and scooping up marine life to eat. 

Delaware

Delaware has its fair share of animals, including raccoons. There are lots of water sources and some vast forested areas in the small state, which is perfect for raccoons to enjoy. 

Delaware also has its own population of the Chesapeake Bay raccoon, as it’s the case with Maryland.

Florida

It’s no surprise that Florida is a favorite for raccoons. There are so many different food sources that raccoons can find in Florida, and plenty of areas for them to make a home far away from the bustle of busy cities. 

Florida also has some of its own unique subspecies of raccoons in different areas of the state. Some of these include Matecumbe Bay raccoon that enjoys Miami’s Key Largo islands and the Key Vaca raccoon that likes the southern area of Florida. 

Which States Have The Most Raccoons?

States situated in the Eastern part of the United States have a bounty of ideal lodging locations for raccoons. The climate is pretty stable, and there are lots of wooded areas with bodies of water that make for a raccoon’s ideal habitat. They are able to stay secluded, make dens high up in trees, and grab a bunch of nutritious food options from the nearby water. 

Texas would be one state that has a lot of raccoons that are widely dispersed throughout the state. The raccoons in Texas are also some of the largest found in the United States, with some being over 50 pounds. 

Are There States That Don’t Have Raccoons?

There are a few states in America that raccoons aren’t particularly fond of. These states fall along the southern part of the United States and include Utah and Nevada. Given that raccoons prefer areas that have ample sources of water for both hydration and food, these states aren’t ideal for raccoons to thrive. 

Conversely, raccoons have not been able to make homes in the Rocky Mountains, especially high up. This is partially because there aren’t ample food sources available. Raccoons also don’t enjoy cold climates, so they will refrain from setting up camp in permanently cold areas. 

Are There Raccoons In Canada?

Raccoons are pretty widespread throughout the majority of Canada. They don’t tend to gravitate towards the northern territories in Canada as much, being that they aren’t fans of the cold. They tend to hibernate in winter and store fat in order to insulate their bodies in the colder months. 

Raccoons can be found throughout most of the provinces in Canada, including Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia. They are also in southern and central Saskatchewan, and the Maritimes provinces. 

With Canada offering an abundance of forested areas with ample sources of water, as well as a lot of farms and cities, there are a plethora of places in Canada that raccoons can safely call home and thrive in. 

Raccoons have also been able to adapt to being near humans and navigating through cities, so they can be found wandering throughout various cities in Canada, especially at night. 

Are There Raccoons In South America?

Raccoons can be found in some areas of South America. They tend to gravitate towards the northern countries within the continent, as they prefer the climate in those regions. In South America, raccoons tend to stick to the northern regions of the continent as the climate is more suitable to their preferences. 

Various countries in South America also see species of raccoons that aren’t found anywhere else, as raccoons have several cousins and close relatives within their family. The crab-eating raccoon, for example, loves South America for its bounty of crabs and other aquatic life. 

Raccoons like South America for its warm climate, as well as the food sources available to them. While raccoons aren’t picky about what they eat, they enjoy places where finding food to eat doesn’t require a lot of effort. 

Why Are Raccoons Sometimes Considered An Invasive Species?

While raccoons don’t intend to be destructive, they can be in their quest for survival. Thus, many countries around the world consider raccoons to be pests or invasive species. While each country handles this in its own way, most would agree that raccoons can cause a lot of damage.

A raccoon can leave behind a lot of destruction in their wake in many ways, including in gardens, animal nests, farms, forests, and even in urban areas with dumpsters and garbage cans that they can access easily. When enjoying a meal or creating a shelter, raccoons aren’t concerned with the mess they leave behind. 

Where Have Raccoons Been Introduced Into The Wild?

Raccoons have not been intentionally introduced into the wild unless there was the intention to hunt these small populations for fur and meat. However, raccoons are pretty smart creatures, and they have managed to escape captivity and make homes in the wild. 

Raccoons did not originally live in Europe but were brought there in the early 1900s. The intention was to allow for raccoons to procreate throughout the Soviet Union, in the hopes that they could eventually be hunted and used for their fur. 

Germany has also had a very interesting history with raccoons, where they have been let out into the wild several times for different purposes, many of which included being able to hunt the raccoons at a later time for fur or meat. The population of raccoons in Germany has become much larger than the country has been able to handle. 

In Which European Countries Are There Raccoons?

Raccoons were never native to Europe, but being that Europe enjoyed raccoon fur, they were brought to some European countries. While there was a hope to control the spread of raccoons throughout Europe, the control was not successful. 

Some countries have been able to eradicate their small population of raccoons, but some countries still have them. 

Germany 

Germany has seen a dramatic increase in its population of raccoons since introducing them into their country several decades ago. They are now considered pests in Germany and are heavily hunted in an attempt to decrease their destruction. 

Russia

Russia and the former Soviet Union brought in raccoons and let them roam through the wild in order to hunt and be hunted. However, the population got out of control, and Russia is still dealing with a plethora of raccoons in the wild today. 

Scotland

Scotland was in an uproar when they spotted raccoons living in the wild a few years ago. Raccoons have also been able to escape wildlife parks in Scotland before, as the country tries to control any raccoons being in the country through containment. 

Other countries in Europe that have seen an occasional raccoon include:

  • France
  • Denmark
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Sweden
  • Slovenia

Some European countries have been able to eradicate raccoons that were native to their countries; some doing so centuries ago, and others doing so recently. For example, Spain had their own raccoon species living there, but they eliminated them in the 1500s. In Barbados, there were raccoons until the 1960s, where they became extinct. 

Are There Raccoons In Asia?

Raccoon dogs, which are relatives to the raccoon, are native to Asia. These animals look very similar to raccoons, and they run similar risks for spreading parasites and viruses. These raccoon dogs have been brought to Europe and some areas of the United States as well, though they aren’t as prominent in the U.S. 

Raccoons were not native to Japan, but many were brought to Japan to be kept as pets in the 1970s. This move was inspired by a very popular anime at the time, known as Rascal the Racoon, which resulted in many people in Japan wanting to keep raccoons as pets. 

However, many of the raccoons were able to escape domestication and scattered themselves throughout Japan, procreating and adapting to the country. They have since become a nuisance for Japan, given that they can be so destructive when establishing habitats and sourcing meals. 

A raccoon was also able to hitchhike to India through a shipping container, and it was subsequently brought to a zoo in India so it could be contained. 

Raccoons have also been spotted randomly throughout Iran and Azerbaijan.  

Are There Raccoons In Australia?

While Australia is home to some very interesting animals, no raccoons have been found on the continent. There doesn’t seem to have been any efforts to bring raccoons into Australia, being that they have enough strange and furry animals and they have no interest in seeing them in zoos or used for fur. 

Are There Raccoons In Africa?

Raccoons are not native to Africa, and there was no natural migration to Africa. However, there have been cases of people keeping raccoons as illegal pets, which did not end well. 

For example, there were raccoons being kept as illegal pets in South Africa, and these raccoons managed to escape. Thus, they were able to make homes in the wild, and could therefore populate. While raccoons aren’t spotted in the wild very often in South Africa because of this, it’s not impossible to stumble upon one. 

Throughout Africa, there are several animals that resemble raccoons and animals that can be as pesky and adaptable as raccoons, but otherwise, they aren’t really seen in Africa.