Avenal is a city in Kings County, California, United States. Avenal is located 35 miles (56 km) southwest of Hanford, at an elevation of 807 feet (246 m). It is part of the Hanford–Corcoran Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA Code 25260), which encompasses all of Kings County. In area, it is the largest city in Kings County. The Zip Code for this community is 93204, and telephone numbers use the sequence (559) 386-XXXX. The population was 15,689 in the 2000 census. 7,062 of these residents were inmates at the Avenal State Prison, the first prison actively solicited by a community in the state of California. Many of the remaining residents largely either work at the prison or in the agriculture industry. The prison provides approximately 1,000 jobs to residents. The California Department of Finance estimates that the population of Avenal had grown slightly to 15,871 as of January 1, 2009. The city's motto is "Oasis in the Sun".