Where Do Raccoons Live? (In the Wild & Around the World)

In this article, we’ll answer the question:

“Where do raccoons live?”

First, you’ll find a short summary of the most common places raccoons live, followed by a detailed list of where raccoons live in the wild and across the world.

Raccoons are medium-sized mammals in the family Procyonidae under the order Carnivora. These omnivores are well-known for their striped ring-tail appearance and disturbance to humans in urban and suburban environments.


Where Do Raccoons Live?

Raccoons live in hollow trees, rock crevices, caves, fallen logs, brush piles, ground burrows, barns, sheds, attics, chimneys, and crawl spaces across North America, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and other regions that have the appropriate habitat for these mammals.

Where Do Raccoons Live In the Wild?

Raccoons live in the wild in various habitats like forests, grasslands, and wetlands but are highly adaptable mammals that can live in all sorts of agricultural areas and in close proximity to human developments that contain the right habitat.

Hollow Trees

Raccoons can find or create cavities in trees that provide them with a cozy and secure place to rest and raise their young. Hollow trees are usually found in forested areas near water sources.

Rock Crevices or Caves

Raccoons can also use natural openings in rocks or caves as their dens, especially in areas where trees are scarce. Rock crevices or caves can offer protection from predators and weather.

Fallen Logs or Brush Piles

Raccoons can take advantage of fallen logs or brush piles that create hollow spaces underneath. These can be found in wooded or grassy areas and can provide insulation and camouflage for raccoons.

Burrows Made By Other Animals

Raccoons are opportunistic and can use burrows dug by other animals, such as groundhogs, foxes, or rabbits, as their dens. They may enlarge or modify the burrows to suit their needs. Burrows can be found in various habitats, such as fields, meadows, or wetlands.

Barns and Sheds

Raccoons can also use human-made structures as their dens, especially in urban or suburban areas where natural dens are scarce. They can access these structures through gaps, cracks, vents, or openings and create nests inside.

These structures can provide warmth, safety, and easy access to food sources for raccoons. However, they can also cause damage, noise, and health risks for humans who share the space with them.

Attics and Chimneys

Raccoons live in attics and chimneys to seek shelter for nesting purposes, protection from predators and weather, and to access food and water sources inside homes.

Crawl Spaces

Raccoons live in crawl spaces for the same reasons they live in attics and chimneys: nesting, protection, and access to food and water.

Where Do Raccoons Live Around the World?

North America

Raccoons are native to North America and are widely distributed throughout the continent. They can be found from southern Canada to northern Mexico, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast. They prefer to live in forested areas near a water source and use tree and rock crevices as denning areas.

Central and South America

Raccoons are also native to some parts of Central and South America, such as Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and northern Brazil. They inhabit tropical and subtropical forests, wetlands, and coastal areas.

They are closely related to other procyonids that live in these regions, such as coatis, kinkajous, and olingos.


Raccoons have been introduced to Europe by humans since the 20th century, either intentionally for fur farming or hunting, or accidentally through escapes or releases. They have established populations in several countries, such as Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

They can adapt to various habitats in Europe, such as forests, farmlands, urban areas, and islands. However, they are also considered invasive and pose threats to native wildlife and ecosystems.


Raccoons have also been introduced to Asia by humans since the 20th century. They have established populations in Japan and some parts of China. They can be found in forests, mountains, grasslands, wetlands and urban areas. They may compete with or prey on native species such as birds or rodents.

Other Regions

Raccoons have also been reported in other regions of the world where they are not native or established. For example, they have been sighted in Israel and Iran in the Middle East; Morocco and Algeria in North Africa; Georgia and Armenia in the Caucasus; Ireland and Great Britain in Western Europe; Cuba and Jamaica in the Caribbean; New Zealand in Oceania; and South Africa in Southern Africa.

Do Raccoons Live In Groups?

Raccoons are mostly solitary animals, except during the breeding season or when raising their young. They may form loose social groups based on kinship or territory, but they do not have a strict hierarchy or dominance system. They may share food sources or den sites with other raccoons, but they also compete for resources and space.

Do Raccoons Live In Sewers?

Raccoons do not live in sewers and this is a common myth about raccoon behavior. Raccoons may use sewers as a means of transportation or a potential source of food, but they do not dwell in them because sewers contain harmful gases, such as hydrogen sulfide, that can be lethal to these mammals

How Do Raccoons Adapt to Living In Urban and Suburban Environments?

Raccoons adapt to urban and suburban environments by using their intelligence and remarkable hand abilities to exploit various food and shelter sources. They can access garbage cans, dumpsters, gardens, pet food, bird feeders, and other human-made structures that provide them with food. They can also use attics, chimneys, sheds, barns, crawl spaces,  or storm drains as their dens. 

Learn More About Raccoons

Now that you know more about where raccoons live, you may also be interested in these other educational guides on these mammals:

Where Raccoons Live Summary

You now know the answer to the question about where do raccoons live.

As you discovered, raccoons live in various habitats in the wild and across the world, including hollow trees, rock crevices, caves, fallen logs, brush piles, ground burrows, barns, sheds, attics, chimneys, and crawl spaces across North America, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and other regions that have the appropriate habitat for these mammals.