Central Time Zone

The North American Central Time Zone (CT) is a time zone in parts of Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central America, some Caribbean Islands, and part of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Central Standard Time (CST) is six hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). During summer most of the zone uses daylight saving time (DST), and changes to Central Daylight Time (CDT) which is five hours behind UTC.

The largest city in the Central Time Zone is Mexico City; the Mexico City metropolitan area is the largest metropolitan area in the zone and North America. The second largest city and metro area are Chicago and the Chicago metropolitan area, respectively.

Regions using (North American) Central Time


The province of Manitoba is the only province or territory in Canada that observes Central Time in all areas.

The following Canadian provinces and territories observe Central Time in the areas noted, while their other areas observe Eastern Time:
  • Nunavut (territory): western areas (most of Kivalliq Region and part of Qikiqtaaluk Region)
  • Ontario (province): a portion of the northwest bordering southeastern Manitoba, in and around Kenora.

    Also, most of the province of Saskatchewan is on Central Standard Time year-round, never adjusting for Daylight Saving Time. Major exceptions include Lloydminster, a city situated on the boundary between Alberta and Saskatchewan. The city charter stipulates that it shall observe Mountain Time and DST, putting the community on the same time as all of Alberta, including the major cities of Calgary and Edmonton. As a result, during the summer, clocks in the entire province match those in Alberta, but during the winter, clocks in most of the province match those in Manitoba.

    United States

    Ten states are contained entirely in the Central Time Zone:
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Oklahoma
  • Wisconsin

    Five states are split between the Central Time Zone and the Mountain Time Zone:
  • Kansas: all except for Sherman, Wallace, Greeley, and Hamilton counties
  • Nebraska: eastern two thirds
  • North Dakota: all except for southwest regions, south part of McKenzie County, and the majority of Dunn County and far western Sioux County
  • South Dakota: eastern half
  • Texas: all except for El Paso and Hudspeth counties Five states are split between the Central Time Zone and the Eastern Time Zone:
  • Florida: Florida Panhandle west of the Apalachicola River
  • Indiana: northwest and southwest regions
  • Kentucky: western half
  • Michigan: Gogebic, Iron, Dickinson, and Menominee counties
  • Tennessee: West Tennessee and Middle Tennessee


    Most of Mexico—roughly the eastern three-fourths—lies in the Central Time Zone, except for six northwestern states (Baja California, Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Sonora, and *most of Nayarit) and one southeastern state (Quintana Roo).

    The federal entities of Mexico that observe Central Time:

  • Aguascalientes
  • Campeche
  • Coahuila
  • Colima – except for the Revillagigedo Islands, in which the inner islands use Mountain Time and the outer island uses Pacific Time
  • Chiapas
  • Durango
  • Guanajuato
  • Guerrero
  • Hidalgo
  • Jalisco
  • Mexico City
  • Michoacán
  • Morelos
  • Nayarit – *only the municipality of Bahía de Banderas, rest of the state uses Mountain Time
  • Nuevo León
  • Oaxaca
  • Puebla
  • Querétaro
  • San Luis Potosí
  • State of Mexico
  • Tabasco
  • Tamaulipas
  • Tlaxcala
  • Veracruz
  • Yucatán
  • Zacatecas

    Central America

    Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua all use Central Standard Time year-round.

    Eastern Pacific islands and other areas

    The Galápagos Islands in Ecuador uses Central Standard Time all year-round; the remainder of Ecuador uses Eastern Standard Time. Both Easter Island and Salas y Gómez Island in Chile uses Central Standard Time during the Southern Hemisphere winter and Central Daylight Time during the Southern Hemisphere summer; the remainder of Chile uses Atlantic Standard Time and Atlantic Daylight Time.

    Central Daylight Time

    Daylight saving time (DST) is in effect in much of the Central time zone between mid-March and early November. The modified time is called "Central Daylight Time" (CDT) and is UTC−05:00. In Canada, Saskatchewan does not observe a time change. One reason for Saskatchewan's lack of a time change is that, geographically, the entire province is closer to the Mountain Time Zone's meridian. The province elected to move onto "permanent" daylight saving by being part of the Central Time Zone. The only exception is the region immediately surrounding the Saskatchewan side of the biprovincial city of Lloydminster, which has chosen to use Mountain Time with DST, synchronizing its clocks with those of Alberta.

    In those areas of the Canadian and American time zones that observe DST, beginning in 2007, the local time changes at 02:00 local standard time to 03:00 local daylight time on the second Sunday in March and returns at 02:00 local daylight time to 01:00 local standard time on the first Sunday in November. Mexico decided not to go along with this change and observes their horario de verano from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. In December 2009, the Mexican Congress allowed ten border cities, eight of which are in states that observe Central Time, to adopt the U.S. daylight time schedule effective in 2010.

    Alphabetical list of major Central Time Zone metropolitan areas

  • Acapulco, Guerrero
  • Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes
  • Amarillo, Texas
  • Antigua Guatemala
  • Arlington, Texas
  • Aurora, Illinois
  • Austin, Texas
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas
  • Belize City, Belize
  • Belmopan, Belize
  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Bismarck, North Dakota
  • Bloomington, Illinois
  • Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Champaign, Illinois
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Clarksville, Tennessee
  • Comarca Lagunera (Torreón, Gómez Palacio, Lerdo)
  • Columbia, Missouri
  • Cookeville, Tennessee
  • Cuernavaca, Morelos
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Enid, Oklahoma
  • Evansville, Indiana
  • Fargo, North Dakota
  • Fort Smith, Arkansas
  • Fort Walton Beach, Florida
  • Gary, Indiana
  • Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • Grand Rapids, Manitoba
  • Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Guadalajara, Jalisco
  • Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • Hammond, Indiana

  • Houston, Texas
  • Huntsville, Alabama
  • Iowa City, Iowa
  • Iron Mountain, Michigan
  • Jackson, Mississippi
  • Jackson, Tennessee
  • Janesville, Wisconsin
  • Joplin, Missouri
  • Kansas City, Missouri-Kansas
  • Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Lawrence, Kansas
  • Lawton, Oklahoma
  • León, Guanajuato
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Lubbock, Texas
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Managua, Nicaragua
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Mérida, Yucatán
  • Mexico City
  • Midland/Odessa, Texas
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Minot, North Dakota
  • Mobile, Alabama
  • Monterrey, Nuevo León
  • Montgomery, Alabama
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Normal, Illinois

  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Omaha, Nebraska
  • Panama City, Florida
  • Pensacola, Florida
  • Peoria, Illinois
  • Puebla City
  • Quad Cities, Iowa/Illinois
  • Racine, Wisconsin
  • Red Lake, Ontario
  • Regina, Saskatchewan
  • Rockford, Illinois
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • San José, Costa Rica
  • San Luis Potosí City
  • San Pedro Sula, Honduras
  • San Salvador, El Salvador
  • Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro
  • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • Shreveport–Bossier City, Louisiana
  • Springfield, Illinois
  • Springfield, Missouri
  • Tampico, Tamaulipas
  • Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • Thompson, Manitoba
  • Toluca, Estado de México
  • Topeka, Kansas
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Waukegan, Illinois
  • Wheaton, Illinois
  • Wichita, Kansas
  • Wichita Falls, Texas
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Zacatecas, Zacatecas