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Central Standard Time vs. Eastern Standard Time — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Published on December 7, 2023
Central Standard Time is 1 hour behind Eastern Standard Time. Both are time zones in North America.
Central Standard Time vs. Eastern Standard Time — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Central Standard Time and Eastern Standard Time

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Key Differences

Central Standard Time (CST) is one of the time zones in North America. Eastern Standard Time (EST) is another time zone located just to the east of CST. These zones are part of the system designed to accommodate the vast size of the continent and the position of the sun.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023
Central Standard Time usually covers the central part of the US and a portion of Canada. Eastern Standard Time, on the other hand, primarily encompasses the eastern portions of the US and Canada. Each zone represents an hour difference, moving from west to east.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023
Central Standard Time is exactly one hour behind Eastern Standard Time. So, when it's 1 PM in CST, it's 2 PM in EST. This differentiation helps in scheduling activities, broadcasts, and other events across the continent.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023
Both Central Standard Time and Eastern Standard Time are affected by Daylight Saving Time. During this period, CST becomes Central Daylight Time (CDT) and EST becomes Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). However, the one-hour difference between them remains constant.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023
While Central Standard Time and Eastern Standard Time designate specific hours of the day, they also, in a broader sense, signify cultural and economic differences, given the regions they cover. For instance, New York operates on EST, while Chicago operates on CST.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Offset from UTC

UTC-6
UTC-5
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

Daylight Saving Time

Central Daylight Time (CDT)
Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

Main Areas Covered

Central US, some of Canada
Eastern US, part of Canada
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

Example City

Chicago, IL
New York, NY
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Central Standard Time

A time zone in North America.
Dallas operates on Central Standard Time.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 24, 2023

Eastern Standard Time

A time zone in North America.
Boston functions on Eastern Standard Time.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 24, 2023

Central Standard Time

Directly west of Eastern Standard Time.
When it's 2 PM in Central Standard Time, it's 3 PM in Eastern Standard Time.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 24, 2023

Eastern Standard Time

Encompasses the eastern US and parts of Canada.
Both Atlanta and Toronto observe Eastern Standard Time.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 24, 2023

Central Standard Time

Offset by UTC-6 hours.
When it's noon UTC, it's 6 AM in Central Standard Time.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 24, 2023

Eastern Standard Time

Directly east of Central Standard Time.
When it's 1 PM in Eastern Standard Time, it's noon in Central Standard Time.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 24, 2023

Central Standard Time

Represents the central parts of the US and Canada.
Both Houston and Winnipeg use Central Standard Time.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 24, 2023

Eastern Standard Time

Adopts Eastern Daylight Time during DST.
Eastern Standard Time becomes EDT when Daylight Saving Time is in effect.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 24, 2023

Central Standard Time

Shifts to Central Daylight Time during DST.
In the summer, Central Standard Time adjusts to Daylight Saving Time.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 24, 2023

Eastern Standard Time

Offset by UTC-5 hours.
When it's 10 AM UTC, it's 5 AM in Eastern Standard Time.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 24, 2023

Common Curiosities

Which is ahead, Central Standard Time or Eastern Standard Time?

Eastern Standard Time is one hour ahead of Central Standard Time.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

What is Central Standard Time in relation to UTC?

Central Standard Time is UTC-6 hours.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

Does Eastern Standard Time cover regions outside the US?

Yes, parts of Canada also fall under Eastern Standard Time.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

How do I convert from Central Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time?

Add one hour to the current Central Standard Time.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

What's the main difference between Central Standard Time and Eastern Standard Time?

The primary difference is the one-hour time offset between them.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

Are there states in the US that are split between Central Standard Time and Eastern Standard Time?

Yes, some states like Indiana have regions in both time zones.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

Do both Central Standard Time and Eastern Standard Time observe Daylight Saving Time?

Yes, both transition to Central Daylight Time and Eastern Daylight Time, respectively, during DST.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

How does Eastern Standard Time compare to UTC?

Eastern Standard Time is UTC-5 hours.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

How do I convert from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time?

Subtract one hour from the current Eastern Standard Time.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

When does Eastern Standard Time change to Eastern Daylight Time?

It usually changes on the second Sunday of March.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

Is Central Standard Time exclusive to the United States?

No, Central Standard Time also covers a portion of Canada.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

Is there a difference in daylight hours between Central Standard Time and Eastern Standard Time regions?

Yes, given the geographic spread, daylight hours can vary, especially at the extremes of each zone.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

When does Central Standard Time transition to Central Daylight Time?

It typically transitions on the second Sunday of March.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

Which major cities operate on Central Standard Time?

Major cities include Chicago, Dallas, and Minneapolis.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

Which major cities function on Eastern Standard Time?

Cities like New York, Atlanta, and Washington D.C. are on Eastern Standard Time.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 07, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at AskDifference.com, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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