As we turn the clocks back in the UK, around the world who does and who does not practice daylight saving time?

If you look at the world map on this web page, you’ll see that almost 80 nations – notably those of Europe and North America – practice daylight saving, but most of the rest of the world manages without this practice. The same web page provides some interesting facts on the practice:

  • The USA has daylight saving but not Arizona or Hawaii
  • Canada has daylight saving but not Saskatchewan
  • Half of Australia practices daylight saving but half does not
  • In Brazil, only the southern states practice daylight saving

The time arrangement of countries is often a varied and controversial matter. For instance, continental United States has four time zones but China manages with one.

Here in the UK, one suggestion – which I support – is that England, Wales and Northern Ireland adopt double summer time, leaving Scotland on its own time. You can read the case for this here.

In the USA, one suggestion – which is worth debating – is that the continental United States should move to just two time zones. You can read the case for this here.

What do you think about daylight saving?


  • Steve Muir

    Regarding Daylight Savings, I fall into the category of loving it. I look forward to that day in Spring when the usable daylight hours increase by 1hr. For me, it is worth having dark mornings for a few weeks more.

    It seems it would be logical to leave the time on Daylight Savings all year round, rather than dropping back to Standard Australian Eastern Time in Autumn. At our latitude, this would mean getting home in daylight all year. Also, most of the angst with Daylight Savings seems to come from the actual switching back and forth, so moving to one constant time – double Daylight Savings – would address that.

    Regarding the Australian states and territories that don’t use Daylight Savings (Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia), these all have substantial sub-tropical areas. For these hot and humid areas, the early morning is often the best part of the day, so I can see why they would be reluctant to let even one precious hour of morning sun go.

  • Nadine Wiseman

    Maybe it’s from growing up in the sub-tropics, but I get very out-of-sorts if I have to get up in the morning when it is still dark. So I’m happy to be in Queensland without daylight savings.

    The usual argument against introducing daylight savings to Queensland is that places in the far west of the state would be disadvantaged.

    The fact that there is also no twilight probably also means extending the end of the day is of less use. (This can surprise visitors. A friend walking her dog in local parkland came across a bewildered and lost tourist who’d gone out for an late afternoon walk, not expecting to be plunged into dark night in a matter of half an hour).

    It can get confusing though. A nurse I met had turned up an hour early for her 7 am shift on Sunday 5 October, because her smart-phone alarm clock assumed she was on the same time zone as Sydney. I asked how she spent the extra hour – she had a cup of tea with another nurse who’d done the same.

  • Janet

    We have customers in various parts of the world, and whilst it’s inconvenient having customers in Sydney being 9 hours ahead for half the year and 11 hours ahead for the other half, at least they make the change on the same weekend as Europe. The USA causes the most confusion by changing on a different date so the time difference between us changes for only a week or two each year.
    Having worked in Brisbane for several weeks earlier this year I appreciate that Daylight Saving is really only relevant further from the Tropics.

  • David Howarth

    I have never understood the reason for putting the clocks back in October. The statisitics suggest a reduction in road traffic accidents if we had darker mornings and lighter evenings. Scottish farmers? Why can’t they keep their own time? I vaguely remember an experiment (the 70s) when for 2-3 years we kept British summer time only to revert back I think because of the pressure exerted by the farming lobby. Please can someone explain to me why we go through this depressing ritual every year?

  • Michael Grace

    Daylight Savings Time in the U.S. is a convenience to working families, particularly in two-wage earner families, because people can enjoy an extra hour of daylight after work. U.S. workers put in the most hours on the job, have fewer holidays and vacation days and the least parental benefits of any industrialized nation. If I had my choice, I would make Daylight Savings Time standard time throughout the year. But the moms don’t like DST in the fall and winter because the kiddies have to walk to school or to their school buses in the dark. That’s the simple explanation.

  • Dan Filson

    It’s all complete nonsense. Why should 21st century UK be governed by milking time in farms? What the clock says should not determine when we start work, start school etc.

    If we had one tine zone for Europe, let’s say it was GMT but frankly I could not care which, not being a xenophobe or virulent nationalist, then in some parts of Europe it might still be dark at 6am and in others cheery sunshine or what passes for it in November in North-West Europe. We could then decide, occupation by occupation, whether to open our shops, pubs, schools etc according to local preference.

    There is little need for most workplaces to start at the same time as with flexible working hours workers can vary their start time anyway. All an employer needs is s period of core time when all workers present that day will be certain to be present – but that core time need only be two hours long in a standard workday.

    From a school point of view, I understand why parents with several schools to send children to or to have to visit on a school run might want a uniform start time, but I suspect schools in a particular location will set those in common in any case. Raîl timetables will no longer need winter and summer timetables – it’s not as if raîl companies vary their timetables much in response to demand in any case; on many computer routes those who go to work have to stand the whole journey.

    So in practice very few firms have work that involves dealing across time zones.

    I don’t see the need to alter an entire national sleeping pattern to suit city traders. Indeed coordinating time zones to suit the convenience of the guys wearing red braces (the things that hold trousers up, not teeth straighteners) seems a positive reason not to vary time zones. Who knows how many hours of otherwise productive time are wasted fiddling with watches and clocks around the home twice a year, often on a grumpy Sunday morning when sleeping on is a more natural intention.

    And as for those cows, they make their way to the milking parlour when nature says they feel the need to be milked; once the head of the herd sets off, the rest follow. Farmers should just get in tune with their cows and not vice versa.


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