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Time Zones and DST in Indiana

The US state Indiana has 2 time zones: Central Time and Eastern Time. Daylight Saving Time (DST) has been used since 2006.

A map of Indiana's counties and time zones.

Time zones in Indiana. Enlarge for key.

The Indiana counties marked in orange use Central Time (CST/CDT), while the blue counties use Eastern Time (EST/EDT).

DST in Indiana

All of Indiana set the clocks forward 1 hour for DST in spring, and then set the clocks back 1 hour to standard time again in the fall.

Time Zones in Indiana

Most of the state uses Eastern Time, switching between Eastern Standard Time (EST) during the winter months and Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) in the summer months when DST is in force.

Some counties near the southwestern and northwestern border of the state use Central Time, interchanging between Central Standard Time (CST) and Central Daylight Time (CDT).

DST Confusion Stopped in 2006

Before 2006, most of Indiana did not observe Daylight Saving Time. However, some counties decided to use DST, creating a lot of confusion about what time it was around spring and fall.

To avoid the confusion, Indiana passed a bill in 2005 ensuring that the entire state would use DST from April 2006, regardless of time zone.

DST Debate

The DST-debate in Indiana is pretty much the same as in the rest of the US. Farmers in rural Indiana oppose DST because their days follow sunrise and sunset instead of the clock. The claim is that they lose 1 hour of sunlight in the morning that could have been used to work.

Energy saving is another argument to keep DST, however, research from the University of California showed that DST would cost Indiana households about $8.6 million in electricity bills each year. The study also estimated social costs of increased pollution emissions that ranged from $1.6 to $5.3 million per year. The savings on electricity for lighting was offset by higher air-conditioning costs on hot afternoons and increased heating costs on cool mornings.

Time Zone Discussions

Time in Indiana has been debated since the Standard Time Act put the state on Central Time in 1918. In 1961, the Interstate Commerce Commission divided the state in Eastern and Central Time, but the new time zone line was not consistently observed. Through the 1960s and 1970s, the counties varied their time zones. A few counties even switched time zones from the late 1970s onwards.

On January 18, 2006, the United States Department of Transportation announced a final rule that would allow 8 of 17 Indiana counties to move to the Central Time. The counties Starke, Pulaski, Daviess, Dubois, Knox, Martin, Perry, and Pike, moved to Central Time on April 2, 2006, as DST started. Already in November 2007, 5 counties including Daviess, Dubois, Knox, Martin, and Pike, returned to Eastern Time.

Central Time Coalition

Today, 80 of Indiana's 92 counties use Eastern Time. The Central Time Coalition, however, believes that the state should be on Central Time. The group was formed in 2009, and it argues that Indiana is geographically located in the Central Time Zone. As a result of the time change dark mornings have caused an increase in car accidents after Eastern Time was adopted. The group also argues that the teen suicide rate in Indiana is higher than average.

Topics: Time Zone, Daylight Saving Time

Current time in
Indianapolis

5:33:10am

Sunday, December 4, 2016


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