Difference Between Eastern Time Zone and Central Time Zone

The World is divided into several time zones, which means one country has a different time and another has an additional time. These are based mainly on three factors that are:


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  1. Sun
  2. Rotation of the Earth
  3. Revolutions of the Earth

For example, in the United States, different time zone is followed, such as the central time zone, Pacific Time, etc. All the time zones vary in time from the Coordinated Universal Time.

Key Takeaways

  1. Eastern Time Zone is 1 hour ahead of Central Time Zone.
  2. Eastern Time Zone is used by more people and covers more states than Central Time Zone.
  3. Several major cities, including New York and Washington D.C., use Eastern Time Zone, and several other major cities, including Chicago and Houston, use Central Time Zone.

Eastern Time Zone vs. Central Time Zone

Eastern Time Zone is ahead of the time of the Central Time Zone. They run along with the different states, although there are few states through which both Eastern Time Zone and Central Time Zones pass.

Eastern Time Zone vs Central Time Zone

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Eastern Time Zone is the time zone of North America running along with the states which touch the Atlantic Ocean and is behind 5 hours (EST) and four hours (EDT) the coordinated Universal Time.

North America comes under the Central Time Zone on the left side of the Eastern Time zone, states that it does not touch the Atlantic Ocean and is behind 6 hours (CST) and 5 hours (CDT) of coordinated Universal Time.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonEastern Time ZoneCentral Time Zone
Difference in TimeIt is one hour ahead.It is one hour behind.
Runs alongsideThe eastern seaboard of the United States.The left side of the states of the eastern time zone
Affect StatesFlorida, Georgia, Michigan, the Caribbean, parts of Canada, etc.Minnesota to Louisiana, from Illinois to Kansas and Texas, also parts of Canada
Touches the Atlantic OceanIt runs through all states that border the Atlantic Ocean.It runs through states that do not touch the Atlantic Ocean.
AbbreviationsEST is for Eastern Standard Time, and EDT is used for Eastern Daylight TimeCST is used for Central Standard Time, and CDT is used for Central Daylight Time

What is Eastern Time Zone?

Following are the countries that are part of the Eastern Time Zone:

  1. Canada: Ontario, Quebec, and Nunavut are several parts of Canada that come under the Eastern Time Zone.
  2. United States: Most of the United States comes under the Eastern Time Zone; states that entirely come under this are: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia; and the states that partially comes under this are: Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee. Some other states also come under this, but it is not official yet.
  3. Mexico: only one state comes under this: Quintana Roo.
  4. Parts of the Caribbean Island are covered in the Eastern Time Zone.
  5. Turks and Caicos Island used to fall under it until 2015, then again covered under Eastern Time Zone after 2018.
  6. South America: parts of states like Acre, Amazon, Panama, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador.

The borderline of this time zone shifted westwards after 1938.

eastern time zone

What is Central Time Zone?

Following are the countries or regions that are part of the Central Time Zone:


  1. Province of Manitoba
  2. Nunavut territory (parts of Kivalliq and Qikiqtaaluk regions)
  3. Most features of Saskatchewan Province.
  4. And some other provinces partially do cover this time zone.

United States

  1. States that entirely are a part of the Central Time Zone are Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, and Wisconsin.
  2. States that are partially containing The Central Time Zone are Kansas, Texas, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Tennessee.


Aguascalientes, Campeche, Coahuila, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, State of Mexico, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico City, Michoacán, Morelos, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatán, parts of Colima, Chiapas, Nayarit (only a part), Nuevo León, Zacatecas.

Central America

States that use this time zone are:

  1. Belize
  2. Costa Rica
  3. El Salvador
  4. Nicaragua
  5. Honduras, and
  6. Guatemala.

Along with them, parts of Eastern Pacific Ocean islands and other areas also come under the Central Time Zone.

Main Differences Between Eastern Time Zone and Central Time Zone

  1. Eastern Time Zones affect various states that touch the Atlantic Ocean, for example, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, the Caribbean, parts of Canada, etc., and Central Time Zones affect conditions that do not touch the Atlantic Ocean, such as Minnesota – Louisiana, Illinois, Kansas, and also some parts of Canada.
  2. EST (Eastern Standard Time) is the abbreviation for the Eastern Time Zone, and CST (Central Standard Time) is for the Central Time Zone.


  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/35088576
  2. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/227631

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