In terms of numbers China ranks top with US firms second placed. All the family businesses surveyed the Swiss bank had a market capitalisation of $839bn (£639bn, €716bn).
Credit Suisse found that companies whose founders or descendants held a 20% stake borrowed less and made higher profits than those without a family connection.
Family-owned businesses also outperformed broader equity markets across every region and sector on a long-term basis, although the relative performance during the first half year of 2018 has been weaker.
Analysts put it down to a long-term, conservative approach, which while it sometimes held companies back in improving conditions, and kept lay-offs and closures to a minimum in downturns.
In emerging countries, such as Latin America and across non-Japan Asia, almost half of the companies are first generation family or founder owned, whereas family-owned businesses in Europe and the US tend to be older, for example 30% of the European companies are fifth generation family-owned or even older.
The best performing businesses in terms of profitability compared with non-family businesses were in India, Germany, Italy and China.