Chicago Time Zone

Whether you support Daylight Saving Time or not, knowing whether there are clock changes in the Chicago time zone can help you determine whether or not to move there. That is a metropolis with a population of 2695598 in the United States. Chicago is located at a latitude and longitude of -87.65. Chicago adheres to Central Daylight Time with a UTC offset of 5:00 hours. The city observes daylight saving time.

Chicago is located in the Central Time Zone, also abbreviated as CT. Within this time zone are numerous cities and states. This time zone is divided into two “sub” time zones, CST and CDT. It is either one or the other, depending on the season. In Connecticut, timepieces are typically adjusted annually (once forward and once backward each year).

It converts Chicago time to the local time in other time zones. The General Time Zone converts between all time zones that enable the Chicago time zone.

What is a Time Zone?

The Time Zone is a geographical world globe division of 15o each, beginning at Greenwich, England, designed to assist people in determining what time it is in another part of the world.

Occasionally, individuals in not-so-distant locations require the same time as those in not-so-distant locations, so the division is now much more political than geographic. In addition, we have Daylight Savings Time, which is also a Time Zone variation, to save energy.

Typically, your country’s government or an astronomical institute defines time zones, which are represented by three or four letters. Section 3.2 contains examples.

History of Chicago Time Zone

The history of time zones in Chicago, as in other parts of the United States, is linked to the broader history of the establishment of time zones in the country. Before the adoption of standardized time zones, local times were set according to the position of the sun, which resulted in a multitude of local times that could vary significantly over short distances. This system was particularly cumbersome for scheduling trains, leading to confusion and inefficiencies.

Railroad Time: The need for a more systematic way to manage time became apparent with the expansion of the railroad network in the 19th century. The United States was divided into a system of railroad time zones in November 1883, which laid the groundwork for the official time zones we use today. Chicago, being a major railroad hub, adopted the new time zone system along with the railroads.

Standard Time Zone Adoption: The United States officially adopted the standard time zone system on March 19, 1918, with the Standard Time Act, which also established daylight saving time. Chicago was placed in the Central Time Zone, which is six hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-6) during standard time and five hours behind UTC (UTC-5) during daylight saving time.

Daylight Saving Time (DST): Chicago, like many other parts of the United States, observes daylight saving time, which shifts the clock forward by one hour to extend evening daylight in warmer months. The practice has been adjusted several times throughout its history. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended DST from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November, which is the current practice.

Local Ordinances and Changes: Throughout its history, Chicago, like other cities, occasionally debated its placement in the time zone system and the observance of daylight saving time. However, it has remained consistent with the Central Time Zone designation established in the early 20th century.

The establishment and evolution of time zones, including in Chicago, reflect the need for standardized timekeeping practices that could accommodate the demands of modern transportation and communication systems. This system has been essential in synchronizing economic, transportation, and social activities across different regions.

What Time Zone is Chicago?

If you’re planning a trip to Chicago, Illinois, you may be curious about the time difference between your home and the city. First, you must ascertain the time zone for Illinois. Similar to neighbouring Milwaukee and a portion of the Midwestern United States, Illinois is within the Central Time Zone. Learn more about the number of time zones in the United States and what to expect in the Chicago time zone during your visit to the Windy City!

Chicago Time Zone Information


United States


Time Zone Name


Time Zone


Time Zone Abbreviation


Observe DST

Most Recent DST Transition in Chicago

DST began at 2:00:00 AM, Sunday, Mar 31, 1918. When local clocks are set forward by 1 hour.

Next Scheduled DST Transition in Chicago

DST will end at 02:00:00 AM, Sunday, Oct 27, 1918. When local clocks are to be set backward by 1 hour

UTC/GMT Offset





Latitude DMS

41°51’0″ N

Longitude DMS

87°39’0″ W
UTM Easting


UTM Northing


UTM Zone


Chicago Observes Daylight Savings Time (DST)

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a time adjustment that occurs annually. Consequently, we awaken an hour earlier during the summer. Without Daylight Saving Time, sunrise on June 19 in Chicago would occur at 4:15 a.m. and sunset would occur at 7:29 p.m. With DST, sunrise will occur at a more reasonable 5:15 a.m., sunset will occur at 8:29 p.m., and children will be able to play outside late into the evening.

Benjamin Franklin is commonly attributed with proposing Daylight Saving Time as a way to conserve candles. To conserve energy during World War I, Germany implemented DST in 1916. European adversaries and allies quickly followed.

The United States first implemented Daylight Saving Time in 1918, the same year it adopted Standard Time, which was the topic of my previous post. In stark contrast to the swift voluntary adoption of Standard Time in 1883, the adoption of Daylight Savings Time was extremely gradual and far from uniform. In rural areas, resistance was particularly intense.

When to Go to Chicago?

July and August in Chicago can be extremely hot, with temperatures between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (27 and 32 degrees Celsius) and considerable humidity. This is also the height of the festival season, with significant events taking place every weekend in parks and neighborhoods. September is graced with consistently warm days and is likely the most pleasant month of the year in terms of weather, but there is less activity during this time.

January to March is typically the least crowded period in Chicago, with hotels and airfares being at their lowest. However, it can be wet and chilly, between -11°F and -2°F (-12°C and -18°C).


The Chicago Blues Festival is a three-day festival held in Grant Park during the first weekend of June and is highly regarded. Grant Park stages the Chicago Gospel Festival for a weekend and the Chicago Jazz Festival over Labor Day weekend.

Taste of Chicago is a massive festival that closes Grant Park for ten days in July preceding Independence Day. Several stages of live music drown out the sound of the 3.5 million attendees’ flatulence.

Is Chicago GMT Time?

Chicago does not observe GMT. It is located in the Central Time Zone of the United States. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is a European time zone whose reference is the zero-degree longitude line. This line’s moniker derives from the fact that it passes through the London suburb of Greenwich.

Not only is Illinois located in the Central Time Zone, but Chicago is the largest city in the entire Central Time Zone! During Daylight Standard Time, Chicago is six hours behind Greenwich’s Mean Time (November through April). From April to November, during Daylight Savings Time, Chicago is seven hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.

Are you curious about the time in Chicago, Illinois if you reside in a GMT zone? Simply add six hours during Central Standard Time or five hours during Daylight Savings Time to convert Chicago time to GMT.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What time zone is Chicago?

Not only is Illinois located in the Central Time Zone, but Chicago is the largest city in the entire Central Time Zone! During Daylight Standard Time, Chicago is six hours behind Greenwich’s Mean Time (November through April).

How many zones does Chicago have?

There are seventy-seven (77) Community Areas in Chicago.

Does Chicago have two time zones?

Not only is Illinois located in the Central Time Zone, but Chicago is the largest city in the entire Central Time Zone! During Daylight Standard Time, Chicago is six hours behind Greenwich’s Mean Time (November through April).

Why does Chicago have a different time zone?

Chicago was and still is the largest railroad town in the country, and railroads were the impetus for the establishment of time zones in both the United States and Europe.

Does Chicago adjust its time?

The change to Daylight Saving Time will occur on March 12. CINCINNATI (WLS) — The official start of Daylight Saving Time is at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 12th. The clocks will advance one hour, granting us additional illumination during the spring and summer months.

Is Chicago at the same time as New York?

New York is 1 hour behind Chicago.

How many minutes is New York to Chicago?

New York to Chicago flight time is 2 hours and 28 minutes.

What is Chicago time compared to UTC?

UTC, or Coordinated Universal Time, is the international time standard, and Chicago is five hours behind.

Which time zone precedes Chicago?

Chicago follows the GMT/UTC zone, which is five hours ahead of the UTC-5 time zone.

What is the hourly difference between Chicago and New York?

Chicago is precisely one hour behind New York, which should give you an idea of the time difference if you are traveling between the two cities.

What is the difference between Central Standard Time and Central Daylight Time?

First, CST is one hour later than CDT. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. corresponds, in CST, to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the typical time for business-related phone calls and meetings.

What zone does Chicago fall under?

The Chicago climate zone is characterized by a low average temperature between -20 degrees Fahrenheit and -10 degrees Fahrenheit. This region is also known as “Zone 5”

How many hours of daylight are there in Chicago?

Thirteen hours and forty-two minutes.

How many time zones are in the United States?

With the Fall 2019 release of the National Transportation Atlas Database (NTAD), a new map of the nation’s time zones is included, depicting the geographical boundaries of four time zones in the continental United States and five additional time zones used in Alaska, Hawaii, and other U.S. territories.

When did Chicago start doing Daylight Savings Time?

Beginning in 1921, the city of Chicago will observe daylight saving time from the last Sunday of April to the last Sunday of September. This decision was made by the general public and the Chicago City Council. Several suburbs also adopted this strategy.