American Cities by Time Zone

Jason C.
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Data Visualization


American Cities by Time Zone [OC] from dataisbeautiful

What time zone do you live in? Depending on where you’re planning moving, you might end up in a different time zone. Moving to a neigboring time zone shouldn’t be too difficult; however, moving to a farther time zone may require some adjustment, especially when it comes to your sleep schedule.

A Reddit user, u/ptgorman, recently shared the time zone visualization shown above. It details the time zone of American cities with a popular of over 100,000 people. The data was pulled from Wikipedia’s List of United States cities by population. Reddit users have commented on the thread. Let’s take a look at what they wrote.

Common and Outlying Zones

Pacific, Central, and Eastern times are the most popular time zones. The number of cities in each is similar to each other. The cities in Mountain time are numbered less than half of the most common zones. Hawaii, Alaska, and Atlantic time zones can be considered the outliers of the data. Each of those three has five or fewer cities with a population of over 100,000 people.

Texas and Time Zones

As Reddit user, u/sertorius42 says, Texas has many cities with a population over 100,000 people. They counted 14 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area; however, another Reddit user, u/Bonesaw823, quickly corrected u/sertorius42, advising the Dallas-Fort Worth area actually has 15 cities with a population of over 100,00 people.

Texas has two time zones: Central and Mountain Time. Most of the state is in the Central Time Zone. Only two counties—Hudspeth and El Paso—are in the Mountain Time Zone. These two are the western Texas counties.

Total Population of Time Zones

If you look at each time zone’s total population, the visualization would look very different. For example, the number of cities in Pacific, Central, and Eastern Time Zones with a population of over 100,000 people are similar; however, most of the general population lives in the Eastern Time Zone. It will probably stay like that for a long time.

U/ptgorman also shared relevant information about where the total population lives. In terms of total population, the Eastern Time Zone has 47.6%, the Central Time Zone has 29.1%, the Mountain Time Zone has 6.7%, and the Pacific Time Zone has 16.6%. This data comes from the 2015 Census estimates (via MetricMaps). So, if the visualization showed time zones by percentage of the population, Eastern Time Zone would show more than the others.

Given this information, another Reddit user, u/TradinPieces, expressed surprise that more Eastern Time Zone cities weren’t on the list. This makes sense for a couple reasons. One is that the population was able to grow on the eastern part of the country over the past few hundred years. The eastern part is where most of the historical immigration originated. Another is that, if a great part of the population resides on the eastern side, one would imagine there would be a high number of cities where the population is over 100,000 people. This just goes to show that data visualizations can be surprising and are a great and fun way to learn.

Featured Image by Kaique Rocha on Pexels

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