Avenel is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located within Woodbridge Township, in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the CDP's population was 17,011.
East Jersey State Prison is located in Avenel, near the border of Rahway; Though located in Woodbridge Township, the prison's mailing address had led to it being called "Rahway State Prison". Also located in Avenel is the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center, which provides treatment to convicted sex offenders.
The community was established in 1901; it was named for the daughter of Captain Demarest, the founder of the village, which had formerly been known as Demarest on the Hill. Besides the Demarests, the first settlers included members of the Brown, Clark, Cooper, Crowell, Douglass, Edgar, and Thorpe families.
The Avenel Fire Company #1 celebrated its 100th Anniversary on June 8, 2013, with a parade and picnic. The area also has three public schools, Avenel Middle School, Avenel Street School #4&5 and Woodbine Avenue School #23.
Avenel is home to Woodbridge Developmental Center, a residential care facility for people with developmental disabilities.
Places of worship in Avenel include the First Presbyterian Church, St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Church, Central Baptist Church and Fellowship Bible Church.
Parks in Avenel include Mayor Frank Pelzman Memorial Park at Avenel, formerly Avenel Park, Eric LeGrand "Believe" Park, formerly Fifth District Park, and Prospect Avenue Park.
Sport teams in Avenel include the Avenel Warriors who currently play at their home field : Gatorade Park, soon to be Montesinos Complex in Iselin (Home to the Iselin Panthers) temporarily because they are building a new field for them to play on.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Avenel had a total area of 3.532 square miles (9.148 km2), including 3.517 square miles (9.109 km2) of land and 0.015 square miles (0.039 km2) of water (0.42%).
The 2010 United States Census counted 17,011 people, 5,150 households, and 3,749 families in the CDP. The population density was 4,836.8 inhabitants per square mile (1,867.5/km2).