Vanguard had the largest net inflows among exchange-traded fund providers year-to-date through August, according to global data from ETFGI, an ETF industry research and consulting firm.

The report on ETF activity in August provides an industry snapshot for the first two-thirds of this year. Through August, the combined totals among global ETF and exchange-traded product (including exchange-traded notes) providers were 4,713 offerings with assets of $1.76 trillion (all figures in U.S. currency). That's a year-to-date compounded annual growth rate of 15.5%, which projects to a slower growth rate this versus the 10-year average rate of 26.5%.

Sticking with ETFs, which comprise the vast majority of ETPs, BlackRock's iShares had the most inflows during August and easily retained its top spot among global ETF providers both in terms of products offered and assets under management (597 and $658 billion, respectively).

State Street Global Advisors, known for its SPDR family of ETFs, maintained its number two position on the ETF leader board with 167 offerings and $239 billion in assets. But the company's ETFs/ETPs saw the largest net outflows in August at $3.2 billion, according to ETFGI.

Vanguard, despite having just 81 ETFs (an amount exceeded by eight of the top 20 global providers, including iShares and SPDRs), ranked third in assets with $222 billion through August.

The top three providers--iShares, SPDRs and Vanguard--controlled more than 71% of total global ETF assets under management.  

According to ETFGI, 456 new ETPs were launched year-to-date through August, while 85 were delisted.

During August, fixed income ETFs/ETPs gathered the most assets ($5.9 billion), followed by the commodities ($4 billion), leveraged inverse ($1.5 billion) and alternative ($733 million) categories.

But equity ETFs/ETPs have attracted the most assets year-to-date ($76.1 billion), followed by fixed income ($47.2 billion), commodities ($10.5 billion) and alternative ($4.4 billion).

Among index providers, the top five in terms of assets tracking their benchmarks are S&P Dow Jones, MSCI, Barclays Capital, STOXX and Russell.