Apologies if this question is not worded very well - this is not really my field of expertise but I'd like to see how to correctly understand some data.
Let's say I am studying the increase in cases of a disease over the last 100 years. I am comparing two different ethnicities, to see if one of them is more susceptible to the disease. The data I have is as follows; for the purposes of the example let's assume that all other factors are equal:
1917: General population consists of 70% Ethnicity A, 30% Ethnicity B
1917: 10% of Ethnicity A contracts the disease during their lifetime
1917: 30% of Ethnicity B contracts the disease during their lifetime
2017: General population consists of 60% Ethnicity A, 40% Ethnicity B
2017: 30% of Ethnicity A contracts the disease during their lifetime
2017: 60% of Ethnicity B contracts the disease during their lifetime
I can make two observations:
The percentage of infection has doubled in Ethnicity B, and tripled in Ethnicity A.
There is a 30 percentage point increase in Ethnicity B, but only a 10 percentage point increase in Ethnicity A
To someone who has a limited grasp of statistics and data analysis (i.e. me), these two outcomes seem contradictory - observation 1 indicates that Ethnicity A is worse off than Ethnicity B with regard to the rate of increase, while observation 2 seems to indicate the reverse.
From a data analysis and statistics point of view, what is the correct approach to take to determine the significance of the respective increase in percentages?
Also, does the changing ratio of ethnicities in the general population also affect how I should interpret the results?