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It appears that very few are from the west or mid-west by this Wikipedia entry:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States_by_home_state

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    Should be noted that most of the United State's popuation is in the East, and we also didn't have many of the Western states for the first century of our history, so that kind of explains it. – Avi Aug 2 '15 at 15:11
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    I don't think "the west" is the least represented community within US presidents. What about women, native americans, poors, workers, farmers, middle class, people who are neither democrat nor republican, greens? None of the US presidents have been any of this, always men, very rich, either democrat or republican, and until 2008, white. – Bregalad Aug 2 '15 at 21:45
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    @Bregalad - We've had many presidents who were neither democrat nor republican. The country is older than those parties. And I'm pretty sure we can quibble with the "Very rich" claim too, although I can't say for sure. Nonetheless, none of that is relevant to the question, which makes no claims that "the west is the least represented community". – Bobson Aug 3 '15 at 5:52
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Throughout history, a presidential candidate originating from a specific area or state seemed to capture more votes from that location. When choosing their running mate after the primaries, presidential candidates also look for someone who is from a strategic state. (e.g. Kennedy from Mass. and Johnson from Tex.; useful to attract Texans and other western states)

To get to my point: from its beginning, the United States has consisted of eastern states, because the west was either not part of the US or still developing. So that means the east is more populated. That explains why most of the earlier presidents came from the east.

For the rest of US history, presidents have helped to win elections by coming from states with a higher population and a higher number of electoral seats, which mostly happened to be in the east (except for California). It also helps because they used to represent states with a higher influence on the federal government, which is helpful if you want to be president.

As you can see below, most of the presidents came from the higher-populated in the east (with California as an exception) than the less-populated states mostly in the mid-west:

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I'm not sure this can really be answered but I do see a correlation between that map and the Map of each state's population as of 2013: enter image description here

compared with the map showing the States by number of US Presidents primarily affiliated with them: enter image description here

and the map showing the states by number of US Presidents born there: enter image description here

Of course correlation does not imply causation but maybe states with a higher population have more influence on nationwide public opinion?

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  • Based on these maps, I think there's another interesting question: Why has Florida, one of the most populated states, failed to produce a president (maybe this is a good sign for Jeb...Florida is due!) – user1530 Aug 4 '15 at 2:42
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    Well thats the problem with correlation. It only helps to show overall trends but it's important to notice the expeptions. Well maybe that's a bad sign for Jeb because candidates from Florida have never seemed to convince voters nationwide ;) – Jascha Goltermann Aug 4 '15 at 3:24

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