Clearly we are getting better at stuff, but for certain things, raw numbers are more important than percentages.
Suppose there was a just a single serial killer out there that killed one person every year for the past 25 years. Population doubles every 23 years or so. So it looks like he has cut his death rate in half, when it has actually stayed the same.
Ignore the politicians that talk about how bad things are. That is a straight out lie. But are things really getting better or are we simply adding more people that don't have the same problems that the oldsters had? That's a different story.
Personally, I think we are actually doing better. But it's not as cut and dried as the story seems to think it is.