Timezones and time changes in the United States

There are 6 different timezones in the United States of America. Countries with a large distance from west to east are often devided into two or more timezones to adjust daytimes to the position of the sun. Timezones are always computed relative to UTC, the "Universal Time Coordinated".

In the United States of America, there is a time difference of up to five hours between the east and the west. Like in most parts of the USA, there is a distinction in the United States of America drawn between standard time and daylight saving time (also called winter time and summer time), but this distinction is not nationwide.

The next clock change in New York will be on November 05th, 2023 at 2:00 to standard time. The clocks are then set back one hour. This means that it gets light earlier in the morning and darker earlier in the evening.

Back to overview: United States

Current time in New York:
May 2023

Timezones by region

RegionUTCStandard timeDaylight saving time
Adak-10Hawaii Standard Time (HST)Hawaii Daylight Time (HDT)
Anchorage-9Alaska Standard Time (AKST)Alaska Daylight Time (AKDT)
Chicago-6Central Standard Time (CST)Central Daylight Time (CDT)
Denver-7Mountain Standard Time (MST)Mountain Daylight Time (MDT)
Detroit-5Eastern Standard Time (EST)Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
Los Angeles-8Pacific Standard Time (PST)Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)
Menominee-6Central Standard Time (CST)Central Daylight Time (CDT)
New York-5Eastern Standard Time (EST)Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
Phoenix-7Mountain Standard Time (MST)discontinued 1967
Honolulu-10Hawaii Standard Time (HST)discontinued 1945

Since November 1883, there have been uniform time zones in the United States - before that, there was a jumble of over 300 different times and even more zones, which already varied from city to city. Each place set its own time based on the position of the sun. And not even that could be reliably measured with the methods of the time. This was a real challenge, especially for transportation and railroads. Thus, to this day, the Ministry of Transport is responsible for the allocation of time zones and the timing of time changes.

Four standard times were initially introduced in the contiguous continental United States:

  • Eastern Standard Time
  • Central Standard Time
  • Mountain Standard Time
  • Pacific Standard Time
It is worth noting that the time zones are not always aligned with state boundaries. This is often the case, but not always. As many as 14 of the 50 states have two time zones. In northern Arizona, there are even areas that don't even switch to daylight saving time.

Later, Alaska and Hawaii also got their own time zones. Outside these areas, there are other territories of the USA with their own time zones as well:

  • Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands with Atlantic Time.
  • American Samoa received its own time zone, which today also includes the atolls Midway and Palmyra, as well as Kingman Reef.
  • Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands are in Chamorro Time (UTC+10). Together with Wake Atoll (UTC+12), they are on the other side of the International Date Line.

Daylight Saving Time in the USA

Earlier than in most other countries, daylight saving time was introduced by Benjamin Franklin in 1784. However, it was not implemented until 1918 during the First World War. Today, daylight saving time is introduced on the same day throughout the country. It always begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. Only Hawaii and most of Arizona remain on standard time all year. Unlike Europe, for example, the clock is turned on the same night, but not at the same time. The time change in the USA always takes place at 2 o'clock of the respective local time.

The next clock changes in New York

DateLocal timeChange
Mar 12, 20232:00 am+1 hour to daylight saving time
Nov 05, 20232:00 am-1 hour to standard time
Mar 10, 20242:00 am+1 hour to daylight saving time
Nov 03, 20242:00 am-1 hour to standard time
Mar 09, 20252:00 am+1 hour to daylight saving time
Nov 02, 20252:00 am-1 hour to standard time
Mar 08, 20262:00 am+1 hour to daylight saving time
Nov 01, 20262:00 am-1 hour to standard time
Mar 14, 20272:00 am+1 hour to daylight saving time

Changes in Daylight Saving Times

In Phoenix Daylight Saving Time has been observed since 1918 until 10/29/1967.
In Honolulu Daylight Saving Time has been observed since 1933 until 09/30/1945.

All countries with Daylight Saving Time

United States of America: Sunrise + sunsetTimes for sunrise and sunset in the United States of AmericaTimes of sunrise and sunset for the most important cities in the United States of America and the avg. length of daylight per month
Countries with DSTAll Countries with DSTA summary of all countries that currently observe Daylight Saving Time with further info on introductions and upcoming changes.
United States of America: Public HolidaysPublic holidays in the United States of America 2023-2027Statutory and inofficial holidays in the United States of America for 2023 to 2027