Of the nearly 9 million mobile homes in the U.S., the majority are in the South. South Carolina and New Mexico have the highest proportion, according to a recent analysis by the U.S. Census Bureau. For sheer numbers, Florida and Texas lead the pack.

At ePodunk, we're not always wild about the aesthetics or the safety of trailers (we refuse to acknowledge the highfalutin' "manufactured home"). They're the first to go in tornadoes and floods, and we'll never get over the sight of the trailer destroyed by fire. (The family escaped unhurt only because of a wrapped smoke alarm - batteries included - under the Christmas tree.)

Nevertheless, the trailer has afforded many Americans opportunities of home ownership and mobility, providing otherwise unaffordable housing under palm trees, around factories and outside crowded military barracks. In our neck of the woods, an all-too-familiar scene is the mobile home parked next to the collapsed farmhouse. When the drafty house becomes too expensive to maintain or heat, the family buys a trailer, builds a deck, plants a garden, installs a satellite dish, and voila!

More and more Americans, for a variety of reasons, are opting for the mobile home. The Census Bureau study shows that the number of trailers in the U.S. increased from 300,000 in 1950 to 8.8 million in 2000. Like it or not, the geography of rural and retired America is also the geography of the trailer.

See our spreadsheet, listing state-by-state percentages.

February 2004 Other rankings and top 10 lists


Los Angeles, CA

Pros: climate; entertainment-media capital; geographic diversity; beaches.

Cons: Traffic; bad schools; gangs; too spread out.

This is a good place to Enjoy nightlife, including restaurants, bars, clubs.

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