Difference Wiki

CST vs. EST: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 9, 2023
CST (Central Standard Time) is 1 hour behind EST (Eastern Standard Time); CST is UTC-6, EST is UTC-5.

Key Differences

CST, or Central Standard Time, is the time zone used in parts of Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Central America. It is six hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-6). In contrast, EST, or Eastern Standard Time, is the time zone observed on the east coast of the United States and Canada, being five hours behind UTC (UTC-5).
During standard time, CST is one hour behind EST. For instance, when it is 12:00 PM in EST, it is 11:00 AM in CST. This time difference can impact scheduling and communication between regions in these time zones.
Both CST and EST switch to daylight saving time, becoming CDT (Central Daylight Time) and EDT (Eastern Daylight Time), respectively. During daylight saving time, CST (UTC-5) and EST (UTC-4) are still one hour apart.
CST covers major cities like Chicago and Dallas, whereas EST includes cities like New York and Toronto. This geographical difference is significant for business, travel, and broadcasting schedules.
Understanding the difference between CST and EST is crucial for coordinating events, flights, business meetings, and telecommunications across different regions following these time zones.

Comparison Chart

UTC Offset

UTC-6 (Standard Time)
UTC-5 (Standard Time)

During Daylight Saving

Becomes CDT, UTC-5
Becomes EDT, UTC-4

Geographic Location

Central parts of North America
Eastern parts of North America

Major Cities

Chicago, Dallas, Mexico City
New York, Toronto, Miami

Time Difference

1 hour behind EST
1 hour ahead of CST

CST and EST Definitions


CST shifts to Central Daylight Time (CDT), UTC-5, in summer.
In July, CST changes to CDT.


EST is observed on the east coast of North America.
New York follows EST.


CST stands for Central Standard Time, UTC-6.
The webinar starts at 3 PM CST.


EST encompasses major eastern cities in the United States and Canada.
Toronto operates under EST.


CST is one of the main time zones in North America.
Chicago is in the CST time zone.


EST stands for Eastern Standard Time, UTC-5.
The show airs at 8 PM EST.


CST is central to coordinating activities in the Central region.
The meeting is scheduled for 10 AM CST.


EST changes to Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), UTC-4, during daylight saving.
In April, EST becomes EDT.


CST is used in parts of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Dallas operates on CST.


EST is crucial for scheduling in the Eastern region.
The flight lands at 6 PM EST.


Standard time in the 6th time zone west of Greenwich, reckoned at the 90th meridian; used in the central United States


(obsolete) Grace; favour.


Abbreviation of established


Init of w:Erhard Seminars Training, a course intended to promote satisfaction with life in the present moment, as opposed to strivings to attain it.




Standard time in the 5th time zone west of Greenwich, reckoned at the 75th meridian; used in the eastern United States


Which major cities use CST?

Chicago, Dallas, and Mexico City.

Do CST and EST observe daylight saving?

Yes, they shift to CDT and EDT, respectively.

What is EST?

Eastern Standard Time, UTC-5.

How does EST change in daylight saving?

It turns into EDT, UTC-4.

How far apart are CST and EST?

There is a one-hour difference.

What does CST stand for?

Central Standard Time, UTC-6.

Why is knowing EST important?

For coordinating travel and business across the East Coast.

Which countries follow EST?

Parts of the United States and Canada.

What's the UTC offset for CST?

It's UTC-6.

What's EST's UTC offset?


What role does CST play in telecommunications?

It's key for timing calls and meetings in the Central region.

How is EST important for broadcasting?

TV and radio schedules are often based on EST.

Does Mexico use CST?

Yes, some parts of Mexico.

What are some EST cities?

New York, Toronto, and Miami.

What happens to CST during summer?

It becomes CDT, UTC-5.

Is CST used in Canada?

Yes, in some central parts.

What is a key difference between CST and EST?

Their geographic location and time offset from UTC.

How does CST impact scheduling?

It affects timing for events and broadcasts.

Are CST and EST always one hour apart?

Yes, regardless of daylight saving.

Can CST and EST change?

Yes, due to daylight saving time adjustments.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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