How do traditional and non-traditional indexing compare in the US stock market? : There are now more than 3.7 million indices, according to the Index Industry Association (IIA) 2018 survey. That represents an increase of 438,000 over just the previous year. Although some areas of the financial markets might require more benchmarks or customized investment solutions, the number of indices seems excessive. In comparison, there are fewer than 6,000 exchange-traded funds (ETFs) globally that cover almost every imaginable niche. About three million of these 3.7 million indices are equities-focused and include both simple and complex strategies.