SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Michael and Kaitlyn earned top rankings as the most popular baby names of 1998, reports the second annual names study released by BabyCenter.com, the leading information and commerce Web site for new and expectant parents. The BabyCenter.com names study is based on an analysis of more than one million Social Security registrations in 1998 and a survey of 2,500 new parents. While 33 percent of parents surveyed by BabyCenter.com said originality was their primary criteria in selecting their child's name, Michael was the most popular boys' name for the 35th year in a row, and Kaitlyn jumped two places to take the girls' top spot, replacing Sarah. New names breaking into the top ten in 1998 include Tyler for boys and Alexis and Madison for girls. Names that fell out of the top ten were Andrew for boys and Jessica and Megan for girls. The entire list of the top 100 boys' and girls' baby names of 1998 is available at www.babycenter.com/babyname. The top ten boys' names for 1998 are: 1) Michael 2) Jacob 3) Matthew 4) Nicholas 5) Joshua 6) Christopher 7) Brandon 8) Austin 9) Tyler 10) Zachary The top ten girls' names for 1998 are: 1) Kaitlyn 2) Emily 3) Sarah 4) Hannah 5) Ashley 6) Brianna 7) Alexis 8) Samantha 9) Taylor 10) Madison Launched in November 1997, Webby award-winning BabyCenter.com is recognized as the most complete online information resource and largest community for new and expectant parents. In addition to the top 100 baby names for 1998, BabyCenter.com lists the 100 most popular baby names for 1996 and 1997 and the top 10 names by decade back to 1890. To provide parents with valuable naming resources, BabyCenter.com has several unique features, including the BabyNamer, an interactive tool with more than 10,000 names searchable by ethnic origin, first letter, number of syllables, and meaning. It also offers bulletin boards and chats where parents can exchange naming ideas, and even online polls to vote on baby name suggestions submitted by undecided expectant moms and dads. "As a part of our commitment to being a comprehensive new parents' resource, we keep tabs on naming trends through polls, bulletin boards, surveys, and chats," says Matt Glickman, BabyCenter CEO. "Naming a baby is a situation all new parents face, and BabyCenter.com offers the most up-to-date information and tools that can help." According to a recent BabyCenter.com survey, more parents than ever are using the Internet to help research baby names, with 15 percent indicating they used a Web site as a reference tool. Survey results also indicate most parents have their child's name chosen even before he or she is born, with 43 percent finalizing a decision during pregnancy and 32 percent making a selection even before conception. (The entire survey can be found at www.babycenter.com/general/6211.html.) About BabyCenter San Francisco-based BabyCenter is the leading Internet information and commerce company serving the $18 billion baby gear market. The company produces BabyCenter.com, the Web's most complete information source on preconception, pregnancy, and baby, and operates the BabyCenter Store, an online store offering thousands of baby products and supplies. BabyCenter also creates pre/post natal health education resources for health organizations. Founded in early 1997, the company has grown to be the most recognized online community of new and expectant parents. BabyCenter is a privately held, venture capital-backed company.