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You will find raccoons in almost all places across North America and that's kind-of where they were situated until recent years. They seem to have extended their territories from the USA alone, to parts of Europe and, according to reports, some parts of Japan too.
In almost all cases, raccoons will opt for a space that has plenty of trees, or buildings that offer similar hiding spots that the trees do. They frequently make their home in hollows of trees when they are "out in the wild," and those same trees will offer them plenty of food and shelter. Raccoons also usually live close to water - rivers, ponds, streams, lakes, and sometimes even coastal areas too.
These places offer so much more than just protection, especially when they are close to water. The abundance vegetation offers the animal plenty of food, particularly for a new and growing family, and rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds also provide plenty of food sources also: crayfish, smaller fish, crabs, etc.
It has been estimated that an area the size of London in the United Kingdom is "deforested" each day across the globe, and many of these areas are homes to raccoons, particularly in the above countries and habitats we've mentioned. When this deforestation happens, the animals that lived in those areas don't just disappear. They need t find other, more suitable places to live, since they have no chance of living in their old habitats. That's what encourages them and drives them to seek out refuge in human homes and commercial buildings.
It is actually very common to see raccoons in more urban spots these days, rather than their once-familiar rural settings. Not only has deforestation forced them to move closer to people, the need to find food has done the same thing too; much in the same way that is has for rats. With easily-accessed chicken coops, bird feeders, vegetable gardens and fruit trees, and even food left out for other animals, scattered all over your land (in most cases), the raccoon has easy pickings. There's plenty of food around and it has no reason to move any further afield. Once it manages to break into your home or a building close by, it'll have everything it needs in order to stay alive and, more than that, flourish.
In this day and age, you are more likely to see raccoons in urban settings than rural ones. The animal will look for spots in residential and commercial buildings and accompanying land that offer the same things that tree hollows and forested, close-to-water areas would ‘in the wild'. Attics are very similar to tree hollows, providing the perfect spot to give birth to young and taken care of them for a little while. A pond in the back yard is very similar to a lake too, especially if it has fish and other forms of life in there. The raccoon doesn't exactly know or understand that the building it is trying to break in to is off bounds. It does it because it needs to do that in order to survive.
Go back to the Raccoon Removal page, or learn tips to do it yourself with my How to Get Rid of Raccoons guide.