Abstract Measuring an individual's human capital at a point in time as the present actuarial value of expected net lifetime earnings has a lengthy history. Calculating such measures requires accurate estimates of worklife expectancy. Here, worklife estimates for men and women in the USA categorized by educational attainment, race, marital status, parental status and current labour force status are presented. Race has a much larger impact on the worklife expectancy of men than women. Education is associated with larger worklife differentials for women. The association between marriage and worklife expectancy is significant, but of opposite sign, for men and women: married women (men) have a lower (higher) worklife expectancy than single women (men). Parenthood is associated with a reduction in the worklife expectancy of women; the association is smaller and varies from positive for some education/marital status groups to negative for others for men.