What is Chicago Time Zone? – Exploring the Current Local Time

Whether or not you like Daylight Savings Time, knowing if the clocks change in the Chicago time zone can help you decide if you want to live there or not. There are 269,598 people living in Chicago, which is a place in the United States. The longitude is -87.65 and Latitude is -87.65. This is where Chicago is. Chicago is on Central Daylight Time, which is 5:00 hours behind UTC. The city of Chicago uses daylight-saving time.

Chicago is in the Central Time zone, which is also written as CT sometimes. In this time zone, there are many towns and states. There are two “sub” time zones in this time zone: CST and CDT. Depending on the time of year, it is either one or the other. In Connecticut, clocks are usually turned forward and backward once a year.

It helps you figure out what time it is in other places besides Chicago. The General Time Zone can change between any Time Zone and any other Time Zone, including the Chicago Time Zone.

What is a Time Zone?

A time zone is a 15o split of the world’s surface that starts at Greenwich, England. It was made so that people could find out what time it is in other parts of the world.

Today, it’s more of a political divide than a physical one, because sometimes people in not-so-far-away places need to be on the same time. We also have Daylight Savings Time, which is also a change in the time zone, because it saves energy.

Most of the time, your country’s government or an astronomical organization sets the rules for time zones, which are represented by 3 or 4 letters. Check out the samples in Section 3.2.

History of The Standardization of Time Zones

Sir Sandford Fleming, a Canadian, came up with the idea for the time zones we use today in 1878. He thought the world should be split into 24 time zones, with 15 degrees of longitude between each one. Since the earth spins around once every 24 hours and there are 360 degrees of longitude, the earth moves 15 degrees of longitude every hour. People all over the world thought that Sir Fleming’s idea of time zones was a brilliant way to solve a confusing situation.

On November 18, 1883, train companies in the United States began to use Fleming’s standard time zones. In 1884, there was a meeting in Washington, D.C., called the International Prime Meridian Conference. The goal was to set a standard time and choose the prime meridian. The longitude of Greenwich, England, was chosen as zero degrees longitude, and the 24 time zones were set up based on the prime meridian.

Even though the time zones were set, not all countries changed right away. Even though most U.S. states started to use the Pacific, Mountain, Central, and Eastern time zones by 1895, it wasn’t until the Standard Time Act of 1918 that Congress made using these time zones required.

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How Do Time Zones Work?

There are four time zones in the mainland United States. These are the Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific time zones. Alaska and Hawaii also have their own time zones.

There is one hour between the Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific time zones. Since the sun always rises in the east, the time in the Eastern time zone is always the newest. So, 8 a.m. in the Eastern time zone is 7 a.m. in the Central time zone, 6 a.m. in the Mountain time zone, and 5 a.m. in the Pacific time zone. It would be 4 a.m. in Alaska and 3 a.m. in Hawaii.

Here is another example:

If you live in the Eastern time zone but the big game starts at 5 p.m. in the Central time zone, just add an hour and turn on your TV at 6 p.m. EST. If you live in the Pacific time zone, take two hours off and start watching at 3 p.m. PST.

What Time Zone is Chicago?

If you’re making a trip to Chicago, Illinois, you might want to know what time it is there compared to where you live. First, you need to find out what time zone Illinois is in. Illinois is in the Central Time Zone, which is the same as Milwaukee and a part of the Midwest. Find out how many time zones there are in the U.S. and what to expect when you visit the Windy City in the Chicago time zone.

Quick Facts About Chicago Time Zone


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


Longitude DMS


UTM Easting

UTM Northing


UTM Zone


Chicago’s Daylight Savings Time (DST)

Time changes because of Daylight Saving Time (DST). We wake up an hour earlier in the summer because of this. Without DST, the sun would rise in Chicago at 4:15 a.m. on June 19 and set at 7:29 p.m. on the same day. With DST, the sun will rise at a more acceptable time of 5:15 a.m., and set at 8:29 p.m., and kids will be able to play outside late into the night.

Benjamin Franklin is often given credit for coming up with the idea of Daylight Saving Time. Germany began DST in 1916 to save energy during World War I. Its enemies and friends in Europe soon caught up with it.

The United States started using Daylight Saving Time for the first time in 1918. This was the same year that the country officially switched to Standard Time, which I wrote about in my last post. In stark contrast to how quickly people chose to switch to Standard Time in 1883, the switch to DST was very slow and not at all standard. In rural places, people fought back especially hard.

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When Should I Visit Chicago?

Chicago can get very hot in July and August, with temperatures between 80 and 90°F (27 and 32°C) and a lot of humidity. This is also the busiest time for festivals, with big events happening every weekend in parks and neighborhoods. September has consistently nice days and is probably the most pleasant month of the year when it comes to weather, but there isn’t as much going on.

From January to March, rooms and flights are usually at their cheapest and there aren’t as many people in Chicago. But it can be wet and cold, with temperatures between -11°F and -2°C.


The Chicago Blues Festival is a three-day event that takes place in Grant Park on the first weekend of June and is very well known. Soon after, Grant Park hosts the Chicago Gospel Festival for a weekend and the Chicago Jazz Festival on Labor Day weekend.

Taste of Chicago is a huge event that takes place in Grant Park for 10 days before July 4th. The sound of the 3.5 million people belching is drowned out by live music on several stages.

Is Chicago GMT Time?

The time in Chicago is not GMT. It is actually in the Central Time Zone of the United States. Greenwich Mean Time, also called GMT, is a time zone in Europe that is based on the zero-degree line of longitude. This line goes through the London neighborhood of Greenwich, which is where the name comes from.

Illinois is in the Central Time Zone, and Chicago is the biggest city in that time zone as a whole. From November to April, when Daylight Standard Time is in effect, Chicago is six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time. From April to November, during Daylight Savings Time, Chicago is seven hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.

If you live in a GMT time zone and want to know what time it is in Chicago, Illinois, click here. To figure out what time it is in GMT, just add six hours to the time in Chicago during Central Standard Time or five hours during Daylight Savings Time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where in the world is Chicago?

Illinois is in the Central Time Zone, and Chicago is the biggest city in that time zone as a whole. From November to April, when Daylight Standard Time is in effect, Chicago is six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.

How many zones are there in Chicago?

There are 77 different areas in Chicago that are called “Community Areas.”

Does Chicago have two time zones?

Illinois is in the Central Time Zone, and Chicago is the biggest city in that time zone as a whole. From November to April, when Daylight Standard Time is in effect, Chicago is six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.

Why does Chicago have a different time zone?

Chicago was and still is the country’s biggest railroad town, and railways were the reason why time zones were made in both the U.S. and Europe.

Does the time change in Chicago?

The time will change to Daylight Saving Time on March 12. WLS-TV in Chicago: Sunday, March 12 at 2 a.m. is the official start of Daylight Saving Time. We’ll get an extra hour of sunshine in the spring and summer because the clocks will move forward an hour.

Is Chicago at the same time as New York?

New York is one hour ahead of Chicago.

How many minutes is New York to Chicago?

It takes 2 hours and 28 minutes to fly from New York to Chicago.

What is Chicago time compared to UTC?

Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC, is the normal time for the whole world. Chicago is -5 hours behind UTC.

What time zone is ahead of Chicago?

The GMT/UTC time zone is used in Chicago. This time zone is five hours ahead of the UTC-5 time zone.

How many hours do Chicago and New York vary by?

Chicago is exactly one hour behind New York, which should give you a good idea of the time difference between the two places if you are traveling between them.

What’s different about CST and CDT?

First, CST is behind CDT by one hour. If you are in CDT and want to find the best time to do something, it will be between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM. This is because between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM in CST is when most people have work-related talks and meetings.

What zone does Chicago fall under?

The normal temperature in Chicago’s zone is between -20 degrees Fahrenheit and -10 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considered low. This area is sometimes called “Zone 5”

How many hours of daylight are there in Chicago?

It took 13 hours and 42 minutes.

How many different time zones are there in the US?

With the 2019 Fall release of the National Transportation Atlas Database (NTAD), a new map of the country’s time zones is included. It shows the geographic boundaries of the four time zones in the mainland U.S. and the five time zones used in Alaska, Hawaii, and other U.S. territories.

When did Chicago start doing Daylight Savings Time?

People in Chicago and the Chicago City Council voted, and the result was that daylight saving time would start on the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of September, starting in 1921. This plan was also used in some neighborhoods.