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(NEXSTAR) – As gun violence in Chicago continues to dominate national headlines, FBI data released earlier this week revealed violent crimes in Illinois rose more slowly in 2020 than the national average.

Illinois’ violent crimes rate increased 2.6%  from 2019 to 2020 compared to the national increase of 5.2%, according to data from 2020 Uniform Crime Report. The data also showed that the crime rate in Illinois was 6.9% higher than the overall national crime rate.

The data is estimated because not all agencies submit information. The FBI said Illinois’ statistics were based on data received from 667 of the 935 law enforcement agencies in the state.

Gun control groups claimed that firearms were the primary driver of the national increase in violence. In Illinois, offenders used guns in 685 of the 1,595 violent crimes involving weapons. In Chicago alone, expressway shootings rose from 52 in 2019 to 128 in 2020, according to data from the Illinois State Police obtained by WGN Investigates.

Violent crimes in Illinois most often occurred at a residence; however, the report also indicated strangers committed most crimes.

According to the report, the majority of both offenders and victims were between the ages of 20 and 29. Of the 2,356 offenders, 1,772 were men, while women accounted for 319 of the total offenders. The gender of 265 offenders was unknown.  

The Uniform Crime Report program is run by the FBI and collects data annually from law enforcement agencies in a number of categories, among them violent crimes, rape, robbery and aggravated assault as well as property crimes.