That's cause the NE US is all business. First to Industrialize and has the biggest city in the country, New York City, along with numerous Metropolitan Areas, including but not limited to, The Greater Boston Area, New York Metropolitan Area, Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, Metro Detroit, etc.Has been the forefront of American innovation and ingenuity. That is, until the 80's and Regan and deindustrialization and shifting of jobs occurred.
The South of us, east of new Mexico and south of West Virginia (actually a part of the reason there are 2 Virginia's, the larger non-west Virginia was mostly rural like the rest of the South). Was literally a land full of steaming piles of shit, slaves, and rednecks live up till the 1870s after reconstruction from the American civil war. Still has the red necks and not many cities even mentioning other than Atlanta, Miami, and New Orleans. Can explain the absurdly high rates of low education, illiteracy, obesity, and vast majority of republican candidates when compared to the rest of the country.
The West was mostly built on the promise of gold, fortunes, and even more land to steal from the natives. IMO, still better than being Spain's, now Mexico's, bitches. Then Hollywood came later on and then cities were built. Many Chinese laborers came in the early 1900s. The West, although vastly better than the South, was not enough to compete with the East. Seems to be catching up with their implantation mass transit (damn LA traffic) and the fall of cities like Detroit and Cincinnati helped. Now they're suffering from a drought. They should've thought about that before they built farms in a fucking desert. I know there's more to the drought, don't murder me over it. They have big cities like Seattle, San Fran, LA, and a bunch of other cities like Portland, and Eureka.
TL;DR: NE US people are better educated even though NYC, Hudson County, and Essex County are a dump. Now you know where you're moms been going to relieve herself ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)