What are the Different Time Zones in the USA?
Are you planning to move to the USA? Well, no one can blame you because this country has so much to offer. Aside from having countless tourist destinations, the USA is also one of the centers for different industries. If you live outside the USA and want to move to this country, it is crucial to know the different time zones in the USA. As such, you can start adapting to the clock changes and plan for your daily activities, whether you are working for the same company or applying for a new job.
USA Time Zones
Have you ever wondered how many time zones the USA has? Or have you ever thought that this country follows Daylight Saving Time? You don’t need to search anymore because you can find the answers here in this article.
How many time zones does the USA have?
By law, there are a total of nine time zones in the USA and its dependencies. But it would be 11 if you are adding the time zones of the two inhabited U.S. territories, particularly Baker Island and Howland Island. Meaning, there are multiple time zones in the USA and knowing them is one of the factors to consider if you are planning to live in the country. You need to identify what time zone your new place follows. With the said time zones, six of them follow the Daylight Saving Time.
Aside from 11 time zones in the USA, there is a so-called Anywhere on Earth (AoE) time zone. It is the time zone dedicated to places like Baker Island and Howland Island. These places are the areas where any date exists. The AoE is considered as the 12th time zone in the USA. The AoE is one of the time zones that do not follow Daylight Saving Time. In other words, those places under the AoE have no DST.
Generalized Time Zones
When it comes to time zones in the USA, they can be divided into generalized, not currently used, and those used by the country’s dependencies. For instance, the generalized time zones in the U.S. are referred to their generic names cush as the following:
- Pacific Time (PT)
- Mountain Time (MT)
- Central Time (CT)
- Eastern Time (ET)
The names have no difference whether they are designated for standard or Daylight Saving Time. For example, if the state used standard time, the Eastern Time will be referred to as the Eastern Standard Time (EST). Meanwhile, if the state observes DST, the Eastern Time will be called Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
Time Zones in the USA That Are Not Currently Being Observed
Aside from the generalized time zones, the following are the other time zones in the USA. However, these are not currently observed since they will be used during other parts of the year:
- Hawaii-Aleutian Daylight Time (HDT)
- Alaska Daylight Time (AKDT)
- Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)
- Mountain Daylight Time (MDT)
- Central Daylight Time (CDT)
- Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
Time Zones in the U.S. Dependencies
As mentioned, the time zone in the U.S. dependencies doesn’t observe Daylight Saving Time. Aside from the AoE, the following are the additional time zones:
- Anywhere on Earth (AoE) - US Minor Outlying Islands
- Samoa Standard Time (SST) - American Samoa
- Samoa Standard Time (SST) - US Minor Outlying Islands
- Atlantic Standard Time (AST) - Puerto Rico
- Atlantic Standard Time (AST) U.S. Virgin Islands
- Chamorro Standard Time (ChST) Guam
- Chamorro Standard Time (ChST) the Northern Mariana Islands
- Wake Time (WAKT) US Minor Outlying Islands
How the U.S. Got Their Time Zones
With all the time zones that the USA has, how did this country end up with 12 time zones? It is essential to know that the USA's time zones are defined in the U.S. Code, Title 15, Chapter 6, Subchapter IX - Standard Time. Aside from that, their offset from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) defines the time zones in the law. Based on the law, there are nine official time zones. Since the AoE of the Baker Island and WAKT of Wake Island were added, there are now 11 time zones. Remember that most of the states in the U.S. follow Daylight Saving Time. The following are the only states and territories without DST:
- American Samoa
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Puerto Rico
- U.S. Virgin Islands
The USA is a vast country; that's why it's states follow different time zones. There are nine time zones in the USA based on the law, but there are additional time zones as mentioned earlier. No matter how many time zones there are in the country, what matters most is you become familiar with them, especially if you are moving to the USA or traveling to different states. As such, you can make excellent plans for your activities and trips.